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“5G will be a positive step in speeding up data transfer between our devices and servers.”

“5G will be a positive step in speeding up data transfer between our devices and servers.”

In this month’s interview we take a look at what goes on at a start-up: Xkelet Easylife SL. We speak with its CEO and technical director, Jordi Tura Ceide, who tells us about this small Girona-based company, which has recently gained international recognition. Seeds sown in recent years have finally begun to bear fruit.

TICSS. Nice to meet you Jordi. Could we talk briefly about your start up? What do you do and what are your main areas of interest?

Jordi Tura Ceide, CEO and Technical Director, Xkelet Easylife, SL

 JT. Xkelet Easylife SL was set up at the end of 2015 although we’d already been working since the beginning of 2014. We started on this journey thanks to an inherent need worldwide, since immobilization and prosthesis systems (plaster, thermoplastic, splints, textile immobilizations, etc) have remained practically unchanged over the last hundred years. Xkelet is a global device consisting of a scanning system, automatic construction software and a high-speed printing system.

We create immobilizations which are tailormade for each patient in an automated process in less than 2 minutes. Our printing system allows us to print the Xkelet in 5 to 40 minutes at costs which are comparable to plaster. So healthcare is our area of interest and we’re currently working on developing our technology related to traumatology and orthopaedics.

 

TICSS. What are the main technologies that your organization is developing?

 JT. At Xkelet we work in different fields. Industrial/Product design, software development (Apps, AI, Deep Learning), 3D scanner software development, 3D printer software development and 3D printer hardware development.

 

TICSS. What is your relationship with the public health and social sector?

JT. We have a business relationship since Xkelet products are naturally B2B and hospitals, orthopaedic centres and so on… are our clients.

We also have a relationship as collaborators, since our products are made both by and for professionals in the sector.

 

TICSS. In our sector there is much talk of 5G combined with IoT, sensors, AI and other emerging trends such as VR. What is the immediate future of these technological solutions applied to healthcare and social welfare?

 JT. 5G will be a positive step in speeding up data transfer between our devices and servers. But first we’ll need to have a robust infrastructure that supports it.

The application of IoT and sensors is something that will be part of our products in the future, but it must be applied logically and functionally.

In terms of AI it’s something that’s already part of our daily lives, used in data analysis and for research and marketing applications. In the case of Xkelet, its application will also have a more practical sense.

 

TICSS. Could you expand on this point?

JT. At present I’d rather not go into details in order to maintain confidentiality for business reasons.

 

TICSS. In the design process, do you take into account the unmet needs of end users? In what way do you take them into account?

JT. From the start to the end of our product development we take account of all the existing problems in the current immobilization systems and the problems which stem from them, in order to resolve them. We wouldn’t do it any other way, since we don’t want to be like any other product on the market.

On the other hand we also appreciate that we have to adapt to pre-established systems so that our products are practical solutions which function in conjunction with the existing methodologies.

Finally, we always try to add more features to those already existing in order to provide added value to Xkelet products, always with our principle client base in mind -professionals in the traumatology and orthopaedics sector- and, ultimately, the end user -the patients-, in order to improve their quality of life as much as possible.

 

TICSS. What ingredients should go into a new technology in order that it doesn’t get left on the shelf after it’s designed, a prototype is built and it’s piloted?

JT. First, you ought to keep in mind that an idea is wonderful but has no value as such; Secondly, you need to decide whether it has a real place on the market; third, you need to take all the necessary steps to ensure you have a working beta prototype (design and prototype); Fourth, you need to test the market (piloting); fifth (if necessary), look for investors in order to have an alpha version; Sixth, choose the location and market where you’ll launch the product and where companies are given incentives; And seventh, work hard and keep your fingers crossed.

 

TICSS. What’s the secret to scalability?

 JT. It’s simple, the product must be needed on a global level and the costs of building a distribution network aren’t higher than the profits obtained from sales.

 

TICSS. Recently you’ve caught the attention of the US Department of Defense for your activities. Can you tell us something about that?

 JT. Thanks to the work we’ve carried out in the US in 2019, we’ve been noticed by a large number of hospitals and organisations over there. They’re impressed by the technological and social value provided by Xkelet products.

 

One of these organisations is the US Department of Defense, who are keen to use our products in the areas their involved in, such as military hospitals, retired army personnel, the army, and so on.

 

TICSS. What would you say to local tech companies who are interested in developing and gaining the same kind of international recognition?

 JT. Focus on emerging markets. Creating companies that bring value to society.

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