Adam Sland
Tom Keighley

Member Article

Newcastle scientists seek funding for novel medical tech use in climbing product

A team of Newcastle-based scientists are looking for funding to commercialise their ‘Climbax’ product - a wrist band training aid for climbers with technology normally used in combatting serious illnesses.

The Climbax band uses microelectronics embedded within a flexible wrist band to track climber’s movements and collects data on their performance.

Project leader Cassim Ladha is a PHD graduate of Newcastle University and has previously worked for the Ministry of Defencea. He is now looking for funding for the idea via a Kickstarter page.

A keen climber, Cassim became involved with Climbax as a research project using similar technology used to tackle movement-based medical disorders such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease.

Cassim’s work involves developing sensors that track how patients walk and move their arms to gauge whether certain drugs and rehabilitation are working.

He said: “We tried out our existing sensors on rock climbers and realised you could find out quite a bit about the climber.

“We trialled the sensors at a professional climbing competition to see if our predictions were correct, and wrote the results up in a Journal. I presented the findings at a conference in Zurich and we got considerable interest.

“If you buy a speedometer for your bike you will often get stats such as average speed, maximum speed and even heart rate. There’s nothing out there for climbers and that’s what we’re aiming to provide for Climbax.”

The idea caught the attention of the British climbing team, coaches and made it into the pages of New Scientist.

Along with student scientist Nils Hammerla and industrial designer Tom Nappey, Cassim has developed the idea to the point where it is ready for production.

The trio have launched a Kickstarter page but say they are open to other funding ideas too.

Cassim added: “I’m an electronics engineer and I’m passionate about the technology, so the ideal for us is to partner with someone who is interested in the business side of things.

“This product is different because we’ve scientifically validated its purpose.”

Although the product is ready to be manufactured, Cassim hopes to develop it further with Facebook integration - allowing climbers to compete with their friends across the world.

For more information on Climbax, visit their site here.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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