Gait Up provides systems that use sensors and algorithms to analyze gait disorders, while the second winner Definition12 has developed a new therapeutic app for aphasia patients. These companies were selected for the major potential impact of their technology on society. The awards will be handed out during a ceremony hosted jointly by CSEM and EPFL on 9 March.
To help bolster Switzerland’s SMEs, which have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, this year CSEM decided to give its Digital Journey award to two Swiss SMEs rather than just one. The two winners are Gait Up and Definition12, both of which are active in medical technology. The selection panel chose these two companies based on their excellent presentations and their high potential impact on society.
The winners will each receive CHF 100,000 in customized technological support to further develop their digital technology, drawing on CSEM’s wide range of skills and experience to speed the launch of their digital products.
Correcting gait disorders
Gait Up was founded as a CHUV and EPFL spin-off in 2013. Its proprietary system uses wearable sensors, advanced algorithms and biomechanical expertise to analyze irregularities in the way a patient walks. The company plans to work with CSEM to develop and test new algorithms allowing for a more detailed assessment of gait disorders resulting from a stroke, Parkinson’s disease or cerebral palsy, for example. The expertise provided by CSEM engineers will allow Gait Up to shorten the time to market for its system, giving doctors a valuable new tool for therapeutic evaluation and diagnostics.
Based in Renens in the Canton of Vaud, Gait Up was founded as a CHUV and EPFL spin-off in 2013. Its motion analysis systems combine wearable sensors with algorithms and biomechanical expertise. Over a billion people around the world have trouble walking. The firm joined MindMaze, an advanced neuroscience and digital therapeutics company, in 2017.
Using artificial intelligence to treat aphasia
The app developed by Definition12 helps treat speech impairment, or aphasia, by coaching patients through therapeutic exercises they can conduct at home. The app is designed to be fun to use and to provide personalized feedback as the patient progresses. It works with the help of artificial intelligence, linking sounds to facial expressions so that patients can learn to speak again. With CSEM’s support, Definition12 plans to develop a large-scale system that translates therapists’ facial expressions into several languages and dialects.
A journey to support digital transformation
“SMEs are the backbone of our economy. We introduced the CSEM Digital Journey award in 2018 to support them in their digital transformation and help them remain competitive in an increasingly challenging market climate.” – Alexandre Pauchard, CEO of CSEM
The award is open to Swiss companies with fewer than 250 employees and which may not have the human and financial resources to meet the challenges of digitalization
The selection panel was composed of Georges Kotrotsios (Chairman and member of the CSEM Executive Board, in charge of marketing and business development), Silvio Bonaccio, (Head of Technology Transfer, ETH Zurich), Nicolas Bürer (Managing Director digitalswitzerland), Marc Gruber (Vice President for Innovation, EPFL), Raphaël Rollier (Head of Innovation and Product Management, Swiss Federal Office of Topography), Robert Rudolph (Member of the Swissmem Executive Board, in charge of digitalization and innovation) and Christian Wasserfallen (Swiss Federal Councilor).
From left to right on the picture: Georges Kotrotsios, member of the CSEM Executive Board; Alexandre Pauchard, CEO of CSEM; Cléo Moulin, Clinical Innovation Manager, Gait Up; and Bahaa Roustom, Deputy Head of Marketing, CSEM (photo credit: Patrick Di Lenardo)