Interview // Matthias Roller

Matthias Roller, Owner of Rollerwerk-Medical, talks about how wearable technology is driving patient compliance.

There is a booming market for wearable devices. Health conscious consumers from as young as ten years old are quite happy to wear the likes of a Fitbit to track their heart rate, steps and calorie intake.

There is a huge opportunity for technology developers to go beyond devising cool gadgets and to create wearable devises that can have a positive impact on the neediest patients’ lives. But how do you track patient compliance?

Here, Lucy Mason talks to orthopedic technician Matthias Roller about his Orthotimer, the first electronic wearing time system for the assistive equipment market that thoroughly documents the wearing time of the device for outpatients.

Q What is your background?

After starting my career as an orthopedic technician, I worked for three years in Boston, America, in the field of high performance sports and as a market developer.

I had a chance to go to Germany as product manager for a company in the orthopedic industry then studied for my master’s in Neuro-Orthopedics – Disability Management in Austria.

Since 2013, I’ve been researching the patient compliance of diabetes and scoliosis as a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen.

Q Why did you develop a wear time measurement system?

My favourite teacher once told me that ‘only a brace that is worn can actually fulfil its function’. For years, doctors haven’t known whether their patients are actually wearing their prescribed devices. I found it incredible that there were hardly any everyday measurement systems. This knowledge is so important and it’s no secret that the wear time has an influence on the course of treatment.

By making use of a wear time monitoring system, the wear time can be planned and evaluated in a more discriminating manner. A stronger base of verified data would do both the patients and the treatment team a world of good.

While searching for an answer, I bumped into the right technologies and people and we teamed up to develop a system for the measurement of the wear time for the field of orthopedic technology.

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