There are approximately 8 million above-knee amputees worldwide and only 5% have access to a quality prosthesis. Aid organizations around the world are working to address this need however they are limited in their impact by several factors. The average cost of a full prosthetic leg can range from $5,000 to $70,000 without donated parts. Each socket is custom molded and can take up to 9 hours of labor by a trained prosthetist. Due to changes in the residual limb volume, an amputee will often need a new device in as little as one year.
Aid organizations around the world are working to meet the needs of these people who could never afford a prosthesis. Organizations raise funding to acquire devices or use second hand, donated parts and set up workshops to cast sockets. Prosthetists donate their time to fit amputees but are limited in the patients they can see. The devices are limited in their performance and most people experience complications with their socket due to limb volume changes and often need new ones made.
OpenGait’s mission is to expand the impact aid organizations can have by providing a new socket system that removes the complicated custom production process. Our new socket system can be adjusted on many different areas to support the unique anatomy of each amputee. This will allow prosthetists to fit a new device to a patient in a single visit, saving the patient difficult trips to a clinic and greatly increasing the number of patients a clinic can see.
Our innovative socket system applies pressure to the residual limb in anatomically relevant locations where high levels of pressure can be safely applied to the limb, providing comfort and support.
In order to ensure pressure is applied at the right locations, the socket is adjustable on 3 axes. It can also be easily and quickly adjusted to accommodate for limb volume changes during the day.
In addition to our revolutionary socket system, OpenGait is working with other prosthetic component suppliers to develop a complete prosthetic kit, to include all components and tools required to fit an above knee amputee. This would allow prosthetist to bring the solution to the patient. This would help individuals lacking the resources to travel to clinics and remove the burden of the prosthetist to source parts and manage inventories.
The team has been working to refine our design and prototypes while conducting testing by amputees and implementing feedback. Development includes failure analysis utilizing computer simulations to guarantee quality and durability as well as material selection to prepare for production. A provisional patent application for the new socket has been submitted. Please contact us if you would like more information on the specifics of the device and we will make arrangements to share details.
We are fortunate to have the support of partnering with the founders of LifeNabled. LifeNabled is a non-profit organization providing prosthetic devices to amputees in the developing world at no charge. They are committed to providing their expertise in prosthetic devices and reaching the developing world to ensure we develop a solution that will work.
Aaron is a second year PhD Student in the joint department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill and NC State. He has significant experience machining and building powered prostheses in lab. Aaron leads the mechanical design and prototyping of the adjustable socket system.
Dustin is a sales and market director with over 10 years of technical sales and marketing experience working with various industries around the world. Dustin recently completed his MBA from NC State and leads the business operations, branding and marketing.
Lindsay is a fourth year PhD Student in the joint department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill and NC State. She has significant experience in biomechanics and leads the mechanical testing and analysis of user interface for the socket.
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