Offering better alternatives for prosthetics in developing countries

Did you know that an only estimated 5% of the 40 million amputees in developing countries have access to the proper prosthetic care they need? They face fewer resources than people in developed countries and they don’t have affordable solutions for this problem. But organizations worldwide are working tirelessly on providing appropriate prosthetic services and on new approaches to prosthetic design allowing for quick and easy fitting while keeping costs low. 

One organization called Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti, a group based in India makes a prosthesis called the Jaipur Foot. Their mission is to “provide prosthetics or artificial limbs, calipers and other physical aids and appliances, free of charge, to as many disabled people as possible through its centres, outreach programmes and rehabilitation camps, both in India and abroad”. Back in 2012, Amos G. Winter, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT was approached by Jaipur Foot to design a better, lighter foot that could be mass-produced at low cost. What was unique with their new design was the framework that predicts which prosthesis would best fit a person based on a few attributes. Only a few measurements are needed to design a scan including the weight, the foot size and the leg length of the patient. Afterwards, the scan is used to design a prosthesis that works and fits the patient comfortably. 

 

What was unique with their new design was the framework that predicts which prosthesis would best fit a person based on a few attributes.

Another organization named Cure Bionics was started back in 2018 by Mohamed Dhaouafi who was training to be an engineer in Tunisia. He started with the prototype he built at university and later launched a 3D printed bionic hand on the Tunisian market. AI sensors were also added to the design to help patients adapt as their body grows, which means less frequent replacements resulting in lower costs. Also an added solar charging system allows the prostheses to function in communities where electricity is intermittent. 

Many other humanitarian organizations are also working worldwide to bring low-cost but functional prosthetics to people in need. One organization named Enabling the Future teams up with a “global network of volunteers who are using their 3D printers, design skills, and personal time to create free 3D printed prosthetic hands for those in need – with the goal of providing them to underserved populations around the world”. With over 3,300 3D printer volunteers, the organization helps thousands of people around the world. All of e-NABLE’s designs are also open source, which means anyone can download the hand designs for their own use or even improve them and once again share them with the world. 

TechMed 3D’s role in the industry

At TechMed 3D, our goal is to help the O&P industry gain time and money using precise human body 3D data. By making our technology available worldwide, we focus on solutions that are affordable, faster, and more accurate than other options on the market. This is why we developed 3DsizeMe and also offer the Structure Sensor as a complement for scanning. These solutions are a good fit for people living in countries with financial difficulties because they cost much less than other solutions on the market. Practitioners can use our solutions to test and take measurements of various body parts. The Structure Sensor can be used with any iOS mobile devices or iPad and be transformed into a portable and light weight scanner. The 3DsizeMe App provides body measurement and digital imaging solutions tailored to produce different orthotics and prosthetics equipment. It is a much more affordable solution for those who cannot afford a BodyScan scanner. It is the most compact, versatile and affordable solution on the market.  

For more information about our products and services get in touch with our sales team. 

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