The Enable Community Foundation (ECF) aims to improve options for those with upper limb (UL) loss or differences worldwide by doing what no one else has attempted. We have developed forward leaning draft product specifications for hyper affordable prosthetics and are building tools and platforms, to support technology empowered cross-disciplinary teams in order to deliver scalable and sustainable, quality holistic prosthetic and rehabilitation services for UL amputees. It is ECF ‘s goal to provide sustainable systems for adoption by local care providers and other NGO’s working in high need regions. By combining evidence based resources, education, training and capacity building; web accessible open source tools and innovative solutions grounded in 3D technologies with established e-health protocols and SMS to address the shortage of prosthetists and rehabilitation experts in under-resourced areas with high unmet needs.
A Patient-Centered Approach
The adoption of a patient-centered, multidisciplinary team approach to both design and case management, as well as disseminating knowledge surrounding the options available to people with disabilities and their caregivers is critical to patients’ long-term success.
Leverage Innovative Technologies
Web accessible, open source design CAD files, aid prosthetists in fitting and allow technicians to print prosthetics and assistive devices locally.
Standard specifications for 3D printed assistive devices will improve quality and drive design improvements as the utility of 3D printing while encouraging customization of prosthetics for people of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
3D DESIGN TOOLS
ECF is developing a suite of tools that will not only positively impact 3D printed assistive devices, but CAD in general.
Affordable, reliable, mobile scanning technology could significantly advance prosthetic care — especially in areas without local clinics. With quality, mobile scanning the delays associated with casting residual limbs can be avoided and remote support provided to aid in socket fitting and design. Our hope is that someday, one could arrive in a remote area with scanner and printer and provide patients with a custom device the next day.
SKIN COLOR PROJECT
ECF staff and volunteers are working to match filament colors to the world’s most common skin tones as well as testing various materials with other qualities similar to human skin. The idea is to develop stretchy, grippy, durable, realistic-looking, safe, low-cost materials with which to either print or use over 3D-printed parts.
LimbForge is a web-based tool that gives prosthetists, fitters, technicians and care providers access to powerful design configuration processes that generate medical-grade modular, 3D printed prosthetics. The tool now in beta testing also collects and aggregates patient data to inform both high level design development and specific patient health care decisions.
The ECF Web Portal will serve as the central operations-focused web location and hub for all ECF knowledge, discussion, story-telling and resources in order to improve volunteer, partner and public access to ECF services.
Participants will be able to access ECF’s knowledge base and become part of our patient-centered case management system. The portal will facilitate coordination of evidence based cross disciplinary expert rehabilitative training and support, enhance development of solutions, improve patient outcomes, enable better data tracking, and extend sustainable continuity of care capacity.
Implementation & Support
RESEARCH AND PILOT STUDIES
ECF conducts a variety of research and development activities including pilot tests and case studies of 3D technologies as applied to prosthetic rehabilitative care for people with limb loss or differences. Research based evidence refines ECF’s tools, designs and work processes to create replicable open source systems and solutions to reduce costs, address supply chain problems and better address the unmet needs of amputees worldwide. Plans include technology partnerships for data collection, assessing mobile-based solutions like Ona, MedicMobile, building on HXM for better integration with other humanitarian organizations’ data collection practices. The ability to integrate additional feedback layers hinges on our ability to partner with both emerging and proven technology partners.
OPEN DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
Open source, open design, open knowledge sharing. ECF is a learning, adapting, evolving, information sharing and collaboration organization. We transfer our technologies and knowledge including by building local capacity and training trainers. Recent work in Haiti provided instruction for ISPO certified technicians in the integration of 3D scanning and printing into prosthetic workflows while initiating 20 case studies. By leveraging innovative technology to improve care for and the quality of life of people with disabilities in collaboration with others ECF hopes to create sustainable systems of care standard for at risk, low income amputees including victims of conflict.