Assistive tech start-up to bring clever worldwide tech to the UK for users with hand and arm impairments
A new UK company, Rahana Life, has been launched, which aims to match the best assistive technology from around the world to the needs of individuals with arm and hand impairments.
Rahana Life focuses on equipment to increase the independence of those who have limited arm and hand function, including robotic feeding devices and mobile arm supports.
The company says that it is crucial the technology is matched to the needs of the user and places as much importance on effective assessment and integration, as it places on excellent technology and the support that goes with it.
Rahana Life was founded by Simon Fielden and Dina Shah.
Simon is an HCPC-registered clinical scientist with 30 years’ experience in the field of assistive technologies. After 20 years in the NHS, where he managed a range of assistive technology services, Simon joined Coventry University as Director of the Health Design & Technology Institute (HDTI).
HTDI worked across the assistive technology sector by collaborating with small businesses to develop new products, running a range of research projects and supporting graduate and postgraduate teaching.
Dina has worked in the assistive technology sector since 2009, specialising in developing and commercialising user-centred assistive devices to support independence. Prior to establishing Rahana Life, Dina was the Business Development Manager for HDTI.
She has held a number of strategic, commercial and development posts across a range of blue chip companies. Dina is an engineer by profession and has an MBA.
Simon Fielden, Co-Founder of Rahana Life, said: “We believe that there has not been enough focus on technology for those with upper limb impairments and we intend to change that.
“Rahana is a Hindi word that means live; and Rahana Life does exactly that. We provide assistive technology that allows people to achieve their goals and be as independent as they can be and live life! Rahana Life!”
The company has assembled a comprehensive portfolio of products, including mobile arms supports, a robotic feeding device and a robotic arm.
One such device in its portfolio is the Jaco robotic arm, manufactured by Canadian company Kinova. Jaco is a personal robot designed to be used by people with very little, or no, hand and arm function. It is fitted to the side of an electric wheelchair and is operated by the user’s wheelchair controls, helping to assist with many tasks and daily activities.
The Obi, from the USA, is another product in the company’s portfolio. It is a robotic dining companion that promotes independence and control over a user’s mealtime. Simple to set up and operate, Obi is portable and is operated by the user with one or two switches, making it suitable for users who are unable to feed independently using their arms and hands.
Mobile arm supports allow users with weak muscles to support and position their arms to undertake everyday tasks such as eating, drinking, computer use and brushing their teeth. The Armon range of arm supports, from the Netherlands, span both manual and powered units to suit different users and different scenarios, says Rahana Life.
In addition, Rahana Life offers appropriate assessment and trials of all the devices in its portfolio.