Thuasne: Delivering innovation in healthcare

Thuasne: Delivering innovation in healthcare - Image

“Digital healthcare is a strategically important area for Thuasne. Aside from an innovative image, it also has therapeutic benefits[1],[2] and a variety of applications.”
Matthieu Ducottet, Director of Innovation, Thuasne

Ever since it was founded in 1847, Thuasne has been fully focused on innovation. Drawing on its heritage of textile industry know-how, the Group designs, develops and manufactures medical devices for orthopedics, compression treatment, homecare, and sports. This spirit of innovation, which is shared by all its employees, has helped the company to constantly renew itself and offer simple solutions that meet the needs of patients. Here’s a look at its pursuit of excellence in innovation and R&D.

A priority: Meeting patient needs

Over the past 175 years, Thuasne has developed expertise in a range of technologies, such as filament wrapping, weaving, knitting, welding, carbon fiber, and cutting and shaping aluminum. At Thuasne, R&D is closely tied to its industrial know-how. Initially specializing in narrow, stretchable textiles, the company has evolved over the years and has made its expertise available to the healthcare industry. Today, its patient-centric approach is a major focus for the Group’s R&D activities. “We are here to improve patients’ quality of life by offering them products at the leading edge of innovation, which means being effective, esthetically attractive, and comfortable to wear. Expectations have changed over time, as the therapeutic benefits now have to be matched by the practical aspects to ensure the highest levels of compliance,” says Jean-Christophe Simon, Director of Research & Development.

At the heart of the world’s healthcare ecosystem

To anticipate the needs of both patients and the medical and pharmaceutical community at large, Thuasne has become part of the ecosystem of world health and developed close links with a range of healthcare professionals (doctors, physiotherapists, orthopedic specialists, podiatrists, pharmacists, ortho-prosthetists, etc.), while also carrying out research projects with universities. Around 20 clinical trials involving 950 patients are currently underway to demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of appliances and to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms involved, thereby guaranteeing the safety and effectiveness of Thuasne’s solutions. The Group also seeks to strengthen its partnerships with various industry players, and start-ups in particular.

Thuasne’s approach to innovation is based on its extensive expertise in product testing, which involves the use of protocols for biomechanical trials and test benches.

Providing the resources needed for innovation

The innovation culture that drives Thuasne’s teams today is reflected in their range of varied, complementary skills, which are backed by an efficient corporate structure and the necessary financial resources. With four R&D centers in France, Germany, the UK, and the United States and around 5% of its revenues devoted to R&D, Thuasne has accumulated 100 active patents and launches 30 to 40 new medical devices on the global market every year.

The digital healthcare revolution

Always seeking to be ahead of the curve, Thuasne is already embracing digital tech. “Aside from an innovative image, digital healthcare also has therapeutic benefits and a variety of applications,” says Matthieu Ducottet, Director of Innovation. Putting that belief into practice, the Group has signed a partnership agreement with OPUM in the United States to develop a digital solution for the non-invasive and non-pharmacological treatment of osteoarthritis. The digital transformation of the company is also being driven by the Thuasne Lab in Lyon, which acts as a digital tech hub for delivering projects in close collaboration with the R&D department.

All these developments are creating new opportunities for Thuasne, with a common goal of improving patient care.


[1] Eysenbach G. What is e-health? J Med Internet Res. 2001

[2] Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS). La e-santé & la m-santé. 2019