When Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Matthew Liptak started noticing inconsistent outcomes in the rehabilitation of his patients after total knee replacement, he decided to take things into his own hands.
He identified a gap in the market for a simple and effective device to encourage, motivate and monitor the rehabilitation of his patients post-surgery.
Dr Liptak first approached the MDPP in 2013 for assistance with the development of Maxm Skate, a skate-like device which straps to a patient’s foot. Whilst he had an initial prototype of the skate, he needed R&D assistance to develop a sensor which would record the user’s range of movement.
“Post-operative knee surgery patients are required to perform range of motion and strengthening exercises. However, there is currently no worldwide single portable device that is capable of helping patients to perform this task effectively,” Dr Matthew Liptak says.
During the 250 hour R&D project, MDPP engineers created a sensor to measure, record and transmit the range of motion data from patients undertaking post-operative rehabilitation exercises. The prototype sensor allowed Dr Liptak to prove that his concept was viable.
In 2017, Dr Liptak returned to the MDPP and through Flinders University’s Medical Device Research Institute (MDRI) the team were successful in obtaining a State Government funded Innovation Voucher Program grant.
The IVP funded project enabled MDRI engineers to develop two new sensors to wirelessly transmit the users’s exercise movements to a smart phone app to enable both the user and health professional to visualise live data and track progress, providing a motivational tool for rehabilitation.
Now the project brings together six groups from South Australia, including Flinders University, Flinders Private Hospital, Motherson, DMG Technology, Gray Advertising and IMRI, in the development and trial of the Maxm Skate product.
“This collaborative approach to the development of the device has been crucial and would not be possible if not for the MDPP and the openness from industry across SA to work together” said Dr. Liptak.
MDPP Director, Professor Karen Reynolds says Maxm Skate is a great example of end-user led innovation, utilising Flinders University engineering expertise and partnering with a local manufacturer in Motherson.
“This collaboration is a great success story for South Australia, bringing positive economic and health benefits for the community” said Professor Reynolds.
Maxm Skate is a simple yet highly sophisticated device supplemented with an e-health software solution which empowers patients suffering lower leg knee injuries or undergoing lower limb surgery (including total, partial or revision knee replacement surgery) to undertake rehabilitation exercises to strengthen their lower limb muscles and enables them to monitor their own rehabilitation program.