Startup in the spotlight: Oryx

The mobile walking laboratory Oryx quickly and easily detects the cause of numerous physical complaints. The resulting profile serves as a starting point for resolving the complaints, but it can do more than that: Oryx can be used help elderly prevent falls. One of the two founders, Marcel Tiggelman, takes us back to the early days of Oryx and tells us about the company’s ambitions.

Own complaints as a starting point

When I first met co-founder Marjolein van Koningsveld, she could hardly walk due to serious back problems. And I myself was also incapacitated at that time as a result of various knee operations. We wanted to work together to find a solution and initially came up with a movement analysis system for horses. This already generated a lot of insights and guidance that helped us to resolve problems. Yet we wanted to achieve more. After having had access to a movement analysis tool for several years, which we took around the Netherlands like some kind of travelling circus, we decided to develop something new ourselves. Oryx therefore grew out of a specific demand, not from a technology.’

Towards an affordable and mobile system

We are now developing a sensor-based system using a tablet and sensors, which you can attach to your leg and pelvis, for example. This is completely different from the systems that are currently used in rehabilitation centres. These often consist of large cameras, adhesive pads and treadmills: expensive systems that are tied to a particular location. We are creating an affordable, mobile system that allows people to rehabilitate better and faster, and that also allows us to monitor progress.’

Not just rehabilitation, sports performance and fall prevention too

We are not only active in rehabilitation. We can also improve sports performance and prevent older people from falling. Falls can cause great suffering for the elderly. And there are more and more elderly people, who are also living at home for longer, all with an increased risk of falling. We want to do something about this. That’s the ultimate goal we are aiming for. However, an entire validation process is needed before health insurers will reimburse this. Although we have now received European subsidies for this, it remains a long-term project. In the meantime, we are trying to keep the company alive too. Moving into the sports sector means that we are not dependent on health insurers, but can use private money for further development.’

2019 National Healthcare Innovation Award

At the moment, brand awareness is very important to us. And that’s going very well. We were one of the nominees for the Rabo Sustainable Innovation Award. That helped us, we really got on a roll after that. And at the Sustainable Healthcare Challenge, we met people who helped us to tell our story in various places. For example, from 12 to 14 March we will be at the Jaarbeurs for the annual Zorg & ICT (Healthcare & ICT) event.’

With its fall prevention for the elderly, Oryx is the Utrecht region’s entry for the 2019 National Healthcare Innovation Award. Although there will be an expert jury, the public can also vote for this innovation. You can vote here.