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Bioliberty secures £2.2M funding for its soft robotic glove to help stroke victims regain mobility


Ageing and chronic conditions, such as diabetes, can increase a person’s risk of having a stroke. Additionally, the cost of in-person occupational therapy services can be prohibitive for many people, making at-home services a much more desirable option.

Unlike rigid robotic gloves, Bioliberty’s soft robotic glove can be used to restore upper limb mobility in stroke patients and now they have received £2.2 million funding for further development. The round of funding was led by Archangels, the world’s premier angel investment syndicate. Other investors included Eos Advisory, Old College Capital, and Hanna Capital SEZC.

Revolutionary soft robotic glove

The Edinburgh-based company has created the Lifeglov, a soft robotic glove that can be used to strengthen both the closing and opening muscles of the hand. As the patient progresses through their rehab, the glove monitors key metrics related to upper limb mobility.

The robotic glove is designed to be lightweight and comfortable so that patients can wear it for long periods of time. It uses sensors to detect signals from the patient’s muscles, and then translates these signals into movement. The glove also provides haptic feedback, which allows the user to ‘feel’ their movements and gain better control over their hand and arm.

The platform also features a clinically-validated assessment that tracks the patient’s progress over time. This assessment helps doctors and therapists evaluate the patient’s recovery and adjust their treatment as needed. Additionally, the Lifeglov is accompanied by a Digital Therapy Platform also provides feedback to the patient, allowing them to monitor their own progress and stay motivated.

FDA approval

As a result of the new funding, Bioliberty will be able to complete the development of its trial product as well as finalise its platform development. Additionally, the funding is expected to facilitate FDA approval and early commercial engagement with rehabilitation clinics in the US.

In the US alone, there are more than 800,000 strokes every year, with 88% of patients left with upper limb weakness. At the same time, there is an urgent need for at-home occupational therapy services, with demand for such services forecast to outpace the supply within all 50 states of the US by 2030.

Using soft robotics in rehabilitation, which is currently unique in the market, Bioliberty’s Lifeglov is pliable, comfortable, and complementary to the upper arm, while also generating useful data related to stroke recovery.  

Initial applications are in upper limb rehabilitation, but the technology is expected to have a wide range of clinical applications, including lower limb rehabilitation. The business was co-founded in 2020 by Rowan Armstrong (CEO), Conan Bradley (Chief Design), Ross O’Hanlon (CTO) and Shea Quinn (COO) and currently employs a team of 7.

Rowan Armstrong, CEO at Bioliberty, 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.”

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