Themes: Assistive Technology
Changing Prosthetic Service Delivery with Amparo
Lower limb amputation is a major surgical procedure that can completely change a person’s life. Access to an appropriate lower limb prosthesis can help restore mobility and confidence. With an appropriate prosthetic leg a person who had an amputation can reach the functionality that allows them to resume their role in work, family and community life. Unfortunately, over 25 million people around the world, most of whom live in low and middle income countries, do not have access to the prosthetic services that they need.
Lower limb prosthetics are highly complex and personalized devices which are labour intensive to produce and require costly machines and specialised staff to be manufactured. Patients will need to visit the medical facility at least twice in order to be fitted with the appropriate lower limb prosthesis that they need. Only specialised clinics in low and middle income countries have the level of funding and expertise necessary to deliver prosthetic services and these clinics are few and far between making them often inaccessible to people who need them due to economic barriers and transport difficulties.
To reduce the cost and difficulties of lower limb prosthetic manufacturing, Amparo GmbH has developed a new socket (the part of the prosthetics that connects with the person’s residual limb) that is made of thermoplastic material which can be molded directly on the person’s limb. The Amparo Confidence Socket offers many advantages compared to traditional prosthetic manufacturing techniques as it is easier and faster to fit on the person, does not require the use of complex machinery and it can be remolded several times when adjustments to the prosthesis need to made. Another distinct feature of the Amparo Confidence Socket is mobility, as it was designed for field use and for application in remote areas. Indeed, everything needed to create a finished prosthetic leg can be packed into a suitcase, potentially bridging one of the larger economic barriers to accessible prosthetic in low and middle-income countries.
The GDI Hub, as a part of the AT2030 Spark Innovation Sub Programme, has partnered with Amparo to support them in carrying out a clinical trial to evaluate how the Amparo Confidence Socket could help the provision of lower limb prosthetic in Kenya. GDI Hub, in collaboration with local Kenyan partner will carry out the research during the trial to understand how the local services could absorb this technology and develop scalability models to maximise the impact of the Confidence Socket and ensure that more people can access the prosthetic services that they need.