With a legacy of excellence, Trulife provides solutions that enhance patients’ quality of life 

With more than 60 years of industry expertise, Trulife is an international group of businesses specializing primarily in the production of niche healthcare and consumer products. It started out in Detroit, Michigan, as a single business in 1958, and has since evolved into an international entity engaged in the creation, development, and manufacture of medical, aerospace, and other commercial products. 

Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Trulife’s European manufacturing, research and development, and marketing operations are conducted through wholly owned subsidiaries in England and Ireland. Similarly, Trulife trades through wholly owned companies in the US and Canada, with two manufacturing plants and a distribution center in Michigan. 

Until the turn of this century, Trulife’s operations focused primarily on breast prostheses, but the business has since evolved to offer multiple medical devices, including lower limb prosthetics and adaptors, orthotics, and walking aids. Also, in 2014, Trulife acquired ProCNC, which launched expansion outside of medical devices and instead into the design and manufacturing of products for the aerospace, defense, and commercial markets. 

We sit down with Eoin Redmond, General Manager (Ireland), to learn more about Trulife and how the business has grown to its current position. “Trulife, as we know it today, started producing breast prostheses in Dublin, Ireland in 1987, to make life a little easier for women following breast cancer,” Eoin begins. “Our innovative breast prostheses are designed and manufactured to replicate breast shapes, forms, and feel, following a full or partial mastectomy. We also produce a range of mastectomy bras at our Canadian facility, which can be used in conjunction with our breast prostheses. 

“Radiant Impressions, our custom breast prosthesis, is a non-surgical breast reconstruction option for people who have had a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or reconstruction surgery. It is a realistic prosthesis that simulates breast tissue and provides symmetry to a bra fit. Made of 100 percent medical grade silicone, the custom breast prosthesis is lightweight and can be worn directly against the chest wall in a non-pocketed bra.” 

Delving into the technology behind this custom product, Eoin continues: “We use a tablet with Structure Sensor scanning technology to capture a precise and rapid 3D scan that quickly creates a detailed image of the patient’s surgery site. This scan is used to create a 3D model, which is then used to print a custom mold using an SLA additive manufacturing machine. From this mold, we create a custom breast prosthesis that will exactly match the contours of the patient’s chest wall, which makes it truly unique to that patient. The prosthesis can be further customized with the addition of freckles, veins, and even tattoos.” 

“We enjoy a well-deserved reputation for manufacturing the most natural products on the market,” he adds. “Recognizing that silicone is an established material in the medical industry that is durable, compatible with skin, and excellent at relieving and redistributing pressure, encouraged the Trulife team to pursue other uses for silicone. In 1995, we began producing our PressureCare range of pressure relieving products for operating theaters and intensive care units. This range of products is designed to aid in the prevention of pressure sores and to assist in the positioning of patients during surgery and throughout patient recovery periods. 

“Today, we are market leaders in many countries across the globe, not only in BreastCare and PressureCare, but also in orthopedics, seating solutions, and walking aids. Alongside these ranges we design and manufacture a number of prosthetic feet and lower limb systems and adaptors. The newest addition to our offering, the Seattle Skride, aimed at the K3-K4 level of activity for amputees, offers a dynamic response with vertical and torsional shock absorption. The product name is an acknowledgment to the innovative Seattle Foot that was developed back in the early 1980s to assist amputees by providing natural shock absorption and forward thrust through a cantilevered spring keel.

“When it comes to orthopedics, we produce several targeted orthotic medical devices that aid in the treatment of various conditions. One such range is the Matrix family, which has been developed to provide a dynamic response for patients with drop foot, limb proprioception deficit, mild proximal deficit, and partial foot applications. Our latest development in dynamic carbon fiber ankle and foot orthoses (AFOs), the Pace and L-Pace, are perfect posterior additions to this range. 

“Our Relax range of seating solutions offers a wide variety of pressure relieving cushions for people of restricted mobility who are at increased risk of developing pressure sores. This range has been designed to redistribute weight, provide exceptional pressure relief, and deliver optimum comfort at an affordable cost. Lastly, we are a leading manufacturer and supplier of walking aids for the UK and Irish markets. Our acquisition of SimplyMed, a leading UK provider of mobility solutions and disability aids, in 2022, enabled us to grow our market share in the UK’s crutches and walking frames sector.” 

Turning to Trulife’s involvement in the aerospace industry, Eoin explains: “Trulife Engineered Solutions, based at our facility in Bellingham, Washington, manufactures a range of aluminum and carbon fiber coupons that are used in the validation of high-volume component parts for the aviation industry. The first generation of products were made from aluminum, but as the industry has evolved, carbon fiber parts are increasingly used to reduce weight and improve fuel costs. 

“Trulife then developed a carbon fiber coupon, and with extensive knowledge of the manufacturing processes of both aluminum and carbon fiber, we now possess the capabilities to provide both options to our customers. Although resource management remains a challenge in this market, our presence in the medical device sector has allowed us to somewhat offset the major fluctuations seen in the aviation industry in recent years.” 

As our conversation ends, Eoin shares details of the company’s future evolution. “We have several new products launching across a variety of markets over the coming year,” he reveals. “This month, our new Breastform model, the Silk Lite Partial, is launching in the US and will shortly launch across international markets. We also have a handful of exciting products at the initial development stage that we hope to launch by the end of the year. 

“We’re also developing a comprehensive strategic plan around ESG, and we’ve introduced a number of ‘quick wins’ to enhance the sustainability of our operations. We launched our Luna Breastform in 2023, for instance, which uses a fiber fill material generated from recycled plastic bottles, as well as adopting recyclable packaging for all products. 

“We are looking forward to a period of stability after several acquisitions in recent years, and we will remain agile to react to market changes with relative speed,” Eoin concludes. “Above all, we will continue to provide our customers with the high level of quality products and service they have come to expect from Trulife.”