A Scottish technology firm has secured £2.2 million in funding to develop a unique soft robotic glove which can restore upper limb mobility in patients following a stroke. 

BioLiberty received the cash after a funding round was led by Archangels, the world’s longest running business angel investment syndicate, with participation from Eos Advisory, Old College Capital and Hanna Capital SEZC. 

The Edinburgh-based business has created the Lifeglov – a soft robotic glove which offers rehabilitation for both the closing and opening strength of the hand.

The glove monitors key metrics related to upper limb mobility and can show improvement as the patient progresses through their rehab.  

The Lifeglov is accompanied by a digital therapy platform, which provides the patient with tailored exercises to help develop natural hand strength.

Edinburgh technology firm gears up for US sales push

For stroke survivors, the glove helps carry out rehabilitation from the home. For occupational therapists, it is a tool to help manage their patients remotely and improve patient outcomes.  

The new funding will allow Bioliberty to complete development of the trial product and finalise the development of its platform.

It is also anticipated to fund the business through obtaining FDA approval and early commercial engagement in the US with rehabilitation clinics. 

In the US alone, there are more than 800,000 strokes every year, with 88 per cent of patients left with upper limb weakness.

Bioliberty says its glove provides a solution and its use of soft robotics in rehabilitation, which is currently unique in the market, means the product is more pliable, comfortable and complementary to the upper arm whilst also generating useful data related to stroke recovery.

‘Robotic glove has potential to improve quality of life for millions worldwide’

Chief executive Rowan Armstrong said: “Our aim at Bioliberty is to empower every human to live a longer independent life by providing assistive robotics and rehabilitative technologies.

“The Lifeglov is a first step on this journey and the funding announced today will allow us to complete its development, along with our software platform, while preparing the runway for our US sales push.

“We’re confident in our technology and excited by the benefits it can deliver for both patients and occupational therapists.” 

Niki McKenzie, joint managing director at Archangels, said: “Bioliberty has developed a highly effective solution for helping patients with hand weakness, with the potential to improve the quality of life for millions worldwide.

“We believe its technology has far-reaching benefits beyond this first application, providing the business with an excellent opportunity to grow quickly from its base here in Scotland.

“Archangels is excited to be supporting the team as they finalise what we hope will be the first of many products and start scaling up their sales activity.”

The business was founded in 2020 and currently employs a team of seven.