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Exoflex wins Prestigious National Disability Award

Exoflex wins Prestigious National Disability Award

NSLHD Invention wins Prestigious National Disability Award

In a gala awards ceremony at Canberra’s Parliament house last night, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull awarded winner of the National Disability Award - Excellence in Technology Award, to Dr Puya Abolfathi and his colleagues. The award-winning technology is a device which has the ability to bring function to paralysed or damaged hands. The technology evolved from rehabilitation research undertaken at The Royal North Shore Hospital, Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD). The technology was subsequently successfully licensed to BES Rehab Ltd in the United Kingdom.

In order to take the product to market, BES Rehab created a technology company Healthcare Innovations Australia Pty Ltd (HIA) as its Australian subsidiary, with its head office in Adelaide, Australia. ( ) HIA has used a multidisciplinary team to develop the ExoFlex, including Dr Puya Abolfathi, a co-inventor and whose PhD studies centred on the ExoFlex. Dr Timothy Scott and Ms Veronica Vare were involved with the early development of the technology at NSLHD.

Dr Abolfathi, in his acceptance speech, said he was particularly proud of the award as he was an Iranian migrant to Australia and he is proud to be an Australian helping improve patient care.

The ExoFlex is an innovative and easy to use active or passive device which will play an important role in assessment and rehabilitation after hand surgery or trauma. Existing devices are often bulky, immobile, and offer only all-or-nothing movement, moving all digits at the same time to the same degree with the same force, whereas the ExoFlex has the ability to manipulate independently each individual joint of one or more fingers and/or thumb.

The National Disability Awards are a major part of the Commonwealth Government’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability, marked on 3 December each year.

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