An impressive technological and entrepreneurial achievement
Ludwig van Beethoven – who was already deaf by the age of 27 – would be in the best possible hands with CAScination, the winner of the Swiss Medtech Award 2019. The University of Bern spin-off has developed a planning, navigation, and robotic ear surgery system that enables customised, highly accurate, and minimally invasive cochlear implants to be inserted into a patient’s inner ear. «We were impressed by the high patient benefits, entrepreneurial spirit, and technological scope that the company has developed.» said jury chairman Prof Dr Mirko Meboldt, ETH Zurich, praising the winner in front of an enthusiastic audience. The coveted industry award, donated by the Lichtsteiner Foundation, the Straumann Group, and Ypsomed, was presented to Matthias Peterhans, Stefan Weber and Marco Matulic by Ypsomed CEO Simon Michel. «CAScination is a perfect example of how technical and clinical university research can be transferred into a commercially successful ‛Made in Switzerland’ medical device.» added a pleased Peter Biedermann, Managing Director of Swiss Medtech and host of the event.
Two other finalists – chosen from 22 applicants – were also honoured for their achievements:
A pacemaker for individuals with spinal cord injuries
The spinal cord implant from GTX medical, a Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne spin-off, stimulates specifically defined neurons during training and transmits feedback about movements in real time. Results of initial clinical trials with paralysed patients confirm that the technology has the potential to restore spinal cord function and improve the rehabilitation process.
Autonomous living for patients with malignant ascites
Persons affected by certain liver diseases often suffer from the accumulation of fluid in their abdominal cavity – a condition referred to as ascites. The Swiss-Belgian company Sequana Medical has developed a fully implantable, programmable, and wireless rechargeable system to counteract the problem. The battery-operated device collects the fluid as it forms and redirects it into the bladder, where it is then naturally excreted with the urine. The pump eliminates the need for recurrent invasive procedures.
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Swiss Medtech represents more than 750 members in its role as industry association for Swiss medical technology. With 67,500 employees and a contribution of 11.5% to the positive trade balance, medical technology is an economically significant sector in Switzerland. Swiss Medtech advocates for conditions that enable the medtech industry to perform at peak capacity and provide first-class medical care.