Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.
Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: Appsocial.org Foundation; Wyss Zurich; Béatrice Ederer-Weber Foundation; Give Children a Hand foundation; myHandicap foundation; HSLU; ZHdK
Project no: GRS-089/17
Amount of funding: CHF 300'000
Duration: 06.2018 - 12.2019
Area of activity: Pilotprojekte, 1998 - 2018
Wyss Translational Center Zurich
8092 Zürich (Schweiz)
- alex.antosch@wysszurich. ch
The trend in prosthesis technology is increasingly moving towards expensive and complex high-tech solutions. However, the acceptance of these prostheses is relatively low due to high costs, complexity, and usability challenges, especially among children.
Andreas Trojan, the SwissProsthetics project mentor struggled to find a suitable prosthesis for his 6-year old daughter Sophia, who was born without a left hand (Dysmelie/Amelie). In their experience, the procedure to obtain a first prosthesis was cumbersome, expensive, and solutions to enable playing the violin were not available. In addition, there was no process to change the prosthesis according to activity and finally it lacked a good part of fun factor and did not allow for a feeling of independence.
As a consequence, Andreas sought a collaboration with the ZHAW and later the Wyss Zurich in order to develop and provide a pragmatic solution. The result is a modular system, with exchangeable hand modules for the various activities, which has increased Sophia’s quality of life. She can easily attach the biking hand that helps to activate the brakes, and switch to the swimming hand to allow for symmetric breaststrokes. We are very excited about this outcome and thus would like to enable other children and adults to also benefit from our solution. We strive to deliver our assistive device tool kit, as a medical device class 1 product, to all people in need.
What is special about the project?
Our product is a cost-effective, easy-to-use, lightweight and versatile solution for affected individuals with or without prosthesis. Each person can choose which hand modules they would need based on their interests, e.g. for biking, swimming, and skiing. Other modules will follow based on customer feedback. In addition, we believe our products will reduce physiotherapeutic interventions and increase fitness for work process in a substantial number of people.
Our product is unique because it combines a modular approach for assistive devices with design. As such, it is no longer perceived as a prosthesis but rather as a leisure and fashion product. Furthermore, we combine our individual hand modules with a novel shaft technology that is unprecedented: the system no longer requires the complicated and time-consuming process of fitting the shaft to the stump. Instead, this process is simple, short and swift.
We conducted a testing day, where seven test users tested several of our shaft prototypes along with different hand modules for various activities. This was important for us to gather first feedback from several potential users. Together with this and several rounds of further prototype testing and feedback, we have learned that the route for customization we had anticipated initially will not work, due to the complexity and technical challenges during the process of fitting the shaft to the arm. Although a drawback, we have now established collaborations with different manufacturing and research partners to follow another strategy regarding this challenge. This new approach seems simpler and promising.
Additionally, we are now entering an intense phase when preparing for market entry of our first product; a prosthetic solution for children and adolescents between the ages of 5-15. We anticipate this to occur in autumn 2019. Thus, we are finalizing the design input phase of this first product to move forward with our development accordingly.
Master Thesis Fabian Schollenberger
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 11.10.2019