Continued rise in Ukrainian injuries, amputations results in persistent critical need for prosthetics in war-impacted Country
CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ai–Aether Biomedical, a biotech company creating cutting-edge intelligent prosthetic hands, announced a recent partnership with Ukraine-based Superhumans Center to deliver bionic Zeus Hands to wounded Ukrainians.
“As the Russian-Ukrainian war continues, a pressing need has emerged, with tens of thousands of Ukrainians forced to amputate one or more limbs,” said Dhruv Agrawal, Aether Biomedical Chief Executive and Co-Founder. “As all Ukrainians continue to be impacted by the war, we are grateful to be able to partner with the incredible Superhumans Center who is on a mission to motivate injured people not to give up and to believe in a ‘Superhuman’ society.”
A recent poll found that almost 80 percent of Ukrainians have had close relatives or friends killed or injured in the fighting, according to Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) survey and many of these injuries require amputations. Additionally, Ukrainian health officials have noted the lack of upper-limb prosthetists in Ukraine. The Lviv-based Superhumans Center was created to restore quality of life to the injured, and provide them with the best prosthetics available.
“Ukraine really lacks professionals on upper limb prosthetics,” said Andriy Stavnitser, Superhumans Co-Founder. “That’s why the opportunity to collaborate with brilliant American specialists in Lviv is so valuable. We are deeply grateful to Aether Biomedical for not shying away from risks and helping our professionals learn more about hand prosthetics. We are confident that this partnership will be long-lasting and highly successful.”
There are two advanced features of Aether Biomedical’s Zeus Hand that stand out as highly beneficial to Ukrainian users. First, the Zeus Hand allows for local repairability of the bionic hand – parts in need of replacement or upgrade can be swapped in and out. Second, the remote configurability of the hand allows the Zeus user to be able to connect to their clinician remotely to receive adjustments or changes. Sarra Mullen, CP Certified Prosthetist and recently-elevated Chief Innovation Officer at Aether noted, “Prior to our hand technology, these changes would require an in-person clinic visit. We know the importance of remote access to healthcare and the need in a war-impacted country is even more vital for the user. This remote configuration feature can be the difference between a clinician being able to provide care for the patient and not.”
In December 2023, Mike Marin and Tony Berland, Certified Prosthetist Orthotists, traveled to Ukraine on Aether’s behalf to fit the patients with the Zeus Hand. Mr. Berland shared his reasons for wanting to serve on this mission. “When I was approached to go support the wounded in Ukraine, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. This experience has allowed me to use my skills as an upper-limb specialist to help those in critical need. Working with Aether Biomedical and the Superhumans Center was nothing short of amazing. The experience could only be topped when I saw the final outcome – the smile or tears of joy on patients’ faces when you return something that they may have thought was lost forever.” Berland’s partner on the mission, Mr. Marin echoed this sentiment. “As a prosthetist, these are opportunities you relish. After researching the Superhumans center and seeing the wonderful work they did there, it became clear that this was an easy decision to make, that would ultimately lead to successful outcomes.”
Aether Biomedical has raised another $1.5 million in funding in the last 30 days, coming on the heels of a recent $5.8 Million Series A funding round led by J2 Ventures and Story Ventures. Aether CEO Dhruv Agrawal further commented, “We are encouraged by the global support of the Zeus Hand and would love to partner with other NGOs around the world to help bring bionic prosthetics to those who truly need them to live better.”
For more information about Aether and the Zeus hand, visit www.aetherbiomedical.com/.
About Aether Biomedical
Aether is building the future of human-inspired machines, starting with the most intuitive and intelligent prosthetic hand ever built. The Company’s flagship product, the Zeus hand, is the strongest and “smartest” bionic hand for upper limb amputees. Zeus uses neural signals, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and deep learning to give users more autonomy and ease in their daily lives. Aether was founded in 2017 by Dhruv Agrawal and Faith Jiwakhan on the premise of creating smart prosthetic technology that is accessible for all. In 2021, Aether Biomedical extended its global reach by establishing its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, IL. This expansion complements their international presence in Poland and India. Learn more at www.aetherbiomedical.com/.
Superhumans Center is a modern clinic for prosthetics, rehabilitation, reconstructive surgery and psychological support for military and civilians injured in the war in Ukraine. Superhumans is not a business. All services at the clinic are free for patients. The center is financed by donors and partners. The first Superhumans Center was opened in April 2023 near Lviv (Ukraine). In the coming years, Superhumans will open 5 more centers in different cities of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Vinnytsia, Rivne, Dnipro. The project was initiated by Ukrainian businessman Andriy Stavnitser. Learn more at superhumans.com/en.
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