Ossur's Proprio Foot takes the Gold 2007 Medical Design Excellence Award

Reykjavik 19 June 2007Ossur, a trusted and global developer of more scientifically advanced prosthetic innovations than any other company in the field, is the winner of the Gold 2007 Medical Design Excellence Award with its Proprio Foot, in the category of rehabilitation and assistive technology products. The Proprio Foot, the latest in Ossur's Bionic Technology platform, is the world's first motor-powered and intelligent prosthetic foot, a seamless fusion of electronics, mechanics, and human physiology that reduces the energy patients spend in reacting consciously to the environment.

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"The Proprio Foot features several unique proprietary technologies that we are proud of", stated Hilmar Janusson, global vice president of R&D. "It is gratifying that our research and development team, which is also responsible for such novel products as the Unloader One Osteoarthritis Knee Brace, is receiving this recognition."

The Proprio Foot replaces muscle function that was lost due to an amputation, enabling amputees to perform normal, functional activites by:

  • Sensing. Knowing where their foot is in space is a huge safety issue for amputees. Sophisticated sensor technology mimics the body's own neural receptors that are sensitive to mechanical change, providing artificial proprioception - that sense of where the limb is in space. Hence the name Proprio Foot.
  • Thinking. Patented artificial intelligence (AI) processes information from the sensors and activates the most appropriate response for the next step.
  • Acting. The AI transmits a constant stream of signals which instruct high-precision actuator technology to act and deliver optimal function. Expertise in real-time motion analysis for the foot was provided by the Canadian company, Dynastream.

The Medical Design Excellence Awards competition is organized and presented by Canon Communications LLC in Los Angeles, California, and sponsored by Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry (MD&DI) magazine. It is the only awards programme that exclusively recognizes contributions and advances in the design of medical products. Past winners include Stryker, GE Healthcare, Medtronic, 3M, Baxter Healthcare, Siemens Medical Solutions and Phonak.

Entries are evaluated on the basis of their design and engineering features, including innovative use of materials, user-related functions that improve health care delivery and change traditional medical attitudes or practices, features that provide enhanced benefits to the patient, and the ability of the product development team to overcome design and engineering challenges so that the product meets its clinical objectives.

A comprehensive review of the entries was performed by an impartial, multi-disciplinary panel of third-party jurors with expertise in biomedical engineering, human factors, industrial design, medicine, and diagnostics.

Ossur is as much about helping people to live a life without limitations as it is about its orthopaedic products. A trusted and global expert in the development, manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing of bracing and support products and prosthetics, Ossur pioneers award-winning designs, including its Bionic Technology platform, and partners with the health practitioners who use them to deliver successful clinical and business outcomes.

Headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland, the company has operations and a distribution network throughout the world. The company allocates an industry record of 6-8 percent of its revenue on research and development to conceive and harness the most advanced technologies for incorporation in its product designs, and provides extensive education programmes through the Ossur Academy. Ossur is a 2006 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.


Leslie Versweyveld

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