Bia Technology is Developing One of The First Medical Robots of Turkey
We are continuing with young entrepreneurs who are in the process of commercializing their product in the YTU Incubation centre:
Would you please briefly introduce yourself?
Bia Technology was activities established in YTU Technopark to develop medical devices for health centres and hospitals in Turkey and the company started R&D in 2015. I am Kemal Eren Cengiz and my friend is Hüseyin Ergin. We have graduated from YTÜ Mechanical Engineering 3 years ago. I am doing my Master’s degree in YTU on Machine Theory, Control and System Department.
After graduating from university, we stepped into business life by establishing our own business with the support of Ministry of Industry Teknogirişim Capital. At this point, YTÜ Incubation Centre and prototype workshop had supported us. We were doing projects and organizing events in the Machine Technology Club, one of the most active student clubs in the university years. After university, we want to have our own business.
How did the business idea come to life?
We were interested in medical devices and there were lots of people with waist-neck pain/problems. Doctors were saying that surgery is risky for these people. After some research, we realised that we could make a physical rehabilitation device for those people with waist and neck pain. Since the number of firms designing and producing these products is low in Turkey, we were able to establish our own business.
Medical robot that could be personally programmes
Our first product Spina Trak is a spinal decompression device that is used for waist and neck herniation treatment. This device is a traction device that will decrease the pressure between waist and neck vertebra and treat the problems. Without surgery, mobilisation treatment is possible with robotic rehabilitation.
Most important property of Spina Trek is that the device could be programmed according to personal parameters like spine stiffness and offer personalised treatment. After pre-setting, the device could work automatically. However, the device should always be operated under the supervision of a doctor for patient safety.
As the first firm that developed this device in Turkey, we are leading health sector. This device will make the job of physical rehabilitation doctors easier. This can enable easier physical treatment and wide spread application around the country.
100% Local designed
We are now moving forward with government support. We have manufactured the prototype of the device with 100 thousand TL support of Ministry of Industry Technogirişim Capital and completed patent applications. In this sense, software, electronic cards, and mechanic design is ours. Medical motor is imported. This motor that is more sensitive than 3D printer step motor should be specially produced.
We have received the support of Tübitak 1507 Program for industrialization of the product and determined the budget of the project as 500 thousand TL. We are working hard to complete the product and launch to market. However, after physiotherapy after the patient should be able to self-cure without any injuries. Although constant doctor monitoring isn’t mandatory, this process requires guidance of the doctor and the best solution is to support the patient with wearable technologies.
Wearable sensor network
The patient needs to strengthen muscles to avoid herniating. We are designing a wearable sensor for this (4-8 sensor per person). Sensors will be placed on waist and neck. These sensors will give information to doctor about how much the muscles work. The patient and doctor can monitor the exercises via tablet, smart phone, or laptop.
We plan to make the product commercial in the second half of 2017 and plan to achieve 7.5 Million TL sales revenue in 3 years. With the cash flow, we are planning to work on the rehabilitation devices that are currently in the idea stage to ensure product continuity. Our product is specially designed for vertebra rotation centres. Therefore, the spine is rotation different for each patient. This ease-of-treatment can only be found in our device.
Domestic medical devices production are a major contributor to the economy and this production makes it easier for people to access critical processes such as physical therapy. The support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade with YTÜ Incubation enables us to realize the dreams of entrepreneurs, to create services with value-added products, and finally to increase the productivity of sector-university cooperation.