In the European Region there are estimated to be 1.5 – 2.0 million amputees, expected to increase to 4.5 – 5 million by 2050. The prevalence of amputation is growing among all ages mostly due to increases in obesity, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. It is estimated that only 50% are fitted with prosthetics, and of those who are, 50% abandon their usage due to unsatisfactory comfort.
For the amputee, the most important part of the prosthesis is the socket, the key determinant of comfort, strongly influencing the use of the prosthesis. Still today most sockets are fitted, and “crafted” by CPOs and prosthetic technicians using an empirical and artisanal process, each person with their own style and approach. Such artisanal fabrication is the single-biggest bottleneck in prosthetics provision. Centralised workshops, with expensive capital equipment, and scarce practitioners, are overloaded. The situation is critical, and ProsFit has the answer.
VBHC implementation requires a continuous journey of learning and improvement in which it is essential to challenge health professionals’ ideas and beliefs. Adopting new approaches and methods such as ProsFit’s will allow fewer clinical visits, reduce “Cost to Comfort (C2C)” (both direct and indirect costs) for both the patient and the clinic, improve socket comfort, speed up “Time to Comfort (T2C)”, reduce rehabilitation time, and increase choice.
ProsFit is providing a new solution for provision of lower-limb prosthetics that is more efficient, offers a better result, and saves money. With the help of a 3D scanner and ProsFit’s design and expert system, the company uses additive manufacturing (AM) technology globally to provide custom-fit prosthetics for patients, thereby significantly moving the traditionally slow fabrication model to rapid and global “industrial level” provision.
With the efficient utilization of the AM technology, ProsFit is a pioneer in the leverage of digital technologies in the prosthetics and orthotics industry. Equally, its cloud-based expert system allows personalized configuration, “self-rehabilitation”, and knowledge exchange between limb wearers and professionals via community platforms.
The company has collaborated with many organizations and government bodies for the effective implementation of prosthetic awareness programs and newer technologies that significantly help amputees lead a quality life.
The “Bulgaria Project” (the VBHC initiative used as an example in the rest of the application) conducted in 2020/2021, supported by Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), successfully achieved to fit high-quality prosthetics to amputees across the country using ProsFit’s solution, to prove the value of digitally-enabled Distributed Care, and to demonstrate the value of Mobility to Quality of Life.
This “split cross-over” study design allowed investigators to evaluate differences in participant satisfaction on the accuracy, effectiveness, and comfort of the lower-limb sockets produced through the semi-digital and fully-digital methods, and compare them to the traditional non-digital method.
The data analytics facilitated through integrating ProsFit’s offerings supports improved professional resource productivity, better user outcomes, improved device designs, and global access to online education and training.