ESA BIC Bavaria alumnus ReActive Robotics develops intelligent medical robotics for the very early mobilisation of critical care patients in intensive care units (ICU). Very early mobilisation enables patients to recover faster and reduces secondary complications associated with immobility. The company’s mission is to revolutionise the way gait rehabilitation is performed and aid patients across the globe in regaining their independence after a life-changing injury or surgery.
ReActive Robotics founder and CEO Alexander König (AK) was interviewed by Lena Nietbaur (LN), Deputy Head of Marketing & Communications at ESA BIC Bavaria’s managing company AZO.
LN: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
AK: ReActive Robotics is developing the robotic assistance system VEMO® to provide very early mobilisation to critically ill patients in intensive care units. The advantage of our system is that the therapy is provided directly in the patient’s bed, which means there is no need to transfer the patient to another bed, a procedure which is dangerous for the patient and physically challenging and exhausting for the nursing staff.
Our team currently consists of 21 smart, talented people from 7 different nations (3 of whom are student trainees and interns), most of whom have a technological background. We’re very fortunate to have a good mixture of enthusiasm, skill and experience.
LN: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
AK: The biggest challenge ReActive Robotics has faced so far was to get CE certification, something we just recently managed to achieve (after 4.5 years of working towards that goal). The reason why this was so difficult is that medical devices are subject to very high, strict standards and requirements.
LN: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
AK: I believe the essential part is having and maintaining a great team. By this, I don’t just mean hiring the people with the best CVs; it is much more than that. You need to make sure you have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time. If you’re able to create a homogeneous team in that way, you can solve almost any problem!
LN: What did you expect from ESA BIC Bavaria? How did the initiative and its network help you to kick-start your business case?
AK: When we started with ESA BIC, we were at the very beginning, so we could essentially benefit from everything that was offered. They set us up with basic infrastructure, such as office space and internet, while also providing us with the very first money they got. This money enabled us to build our prototype, which, in turn, helped us to convince our first strategic investor. Everything we have achieved so far started off with the ESA BIC Bavaria.
LN: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in ReActive Robotics’ future?
AK: We will set a new standard for very early mobilisation on a global scale while, at the same time, developing new robotic systems for geriatric nursing as well as home care.