Ian Stevens, who has been associated with the development of three leading healthcare technologies in the last 15 years, including the i-limb multi-articulating prosthetic hand, will describe the challenges he faced in bringing the inventions to market.

Speaking at a joint annual lecture between the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 4 March 2013, to promote research in engineering, Ian will discuss how the Optomap retinal scan from Optos, Smartmesh for pelvic floor restoration from Mpathy Medical, and the i-limb prosthetic hand from Touch Bionics evolved to meets the needs of their users.

As well as sharing his career history and secrets of Optos and Mpathy Medicals’ successes, Ian will focus on how the i-limb prosthetic hand has been further developed with feedback from its wearers.

He will detail how Touch Bionics has engineered the i-limb to make everyday activities such as tying shoelaces, opening doors and using keyboards easier for amputees. He will also describe how the prosthetic’s cosmetic coverings have become more realistic and speak about i-limb digits: fully customised electronic prostheses for people with missing fingers or partial hands.

i-limb digits launched last year, can replace up to five fingers, move independently and bend at the joints to work in conjunction with any remaining fingers. Ian will talk about the engineering challenges that were overcome to develop this product and the benefit that i-limb and i-limb digits brings to their wearers.

For more information or to attend the lecture at The Royal Society of Edinburgh at 6pm on 4 March, please visit: Joint annual lecture with the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Notes for editors

  1. Ian Stevens is CEO of Touch Bionics, which he joined in 2011 from surgical medical device company Mpathy Medical where he had been CEO since 2007. Between 1998 and 2007 he worked for Optos, a medical technology company specialising in the imaging of the retina, firstly as CFO in the UK and then as General Manager, North America. He is a chartered accountant who has previously worked for KPMG in the UK and the Czech Republic.
  2. Touch Bionics, the Livingston-based inventors of the world's first commercially available bionic hand, the i-limb Hand, won the 2008 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award in 2008.
  3. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship - comprising the UK's most eminent engineers - provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain's engineering community.
  4. The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) is Scotland's National Academy and aims to advance learning and useful knowledge by supporting the cultural, economic and social well-being of Scotland. Drawing upon the strengths and interdisciplinary expertise of over 1,500 peer-elected Fellows based in Scotland and beyond, the RSE is a source of expertise across the intellectual, business and public life in Scotland.

For more information please contact

Sarah Griffiths at The Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 020 7766 0655