Nia Technologies and Vorum Partner to Deliver 3D-Printed Prosthetics and Orthotics to Children in Developing Countries.

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Vorum provides software to help Nia Technologies boost the output of overtaxed orthopaedic technologists.

3d printing, custom 3d printing, prosthetic, prosthetic socket, 3D PrintAbility

Custom 3D printing in progress to make a 3D PrintAbility socket. Credit: courtesy of Nia.

Vorum’s generous contribution of Canfit to 3D PrintAbility means that Nia will be able to deliver proven, comprehensive, and easy-to-use tools to developing countries like Uganda sooner and more economically than originally planned.

Canadian non-profit social enterprise Nia Technologies will integrate Vorum’s Canfit 3D design software into its 3D PrintAbility solution. 3D PrintAbility is an innovative digital toolchain that promises to significantly reduce the time required to produce customized orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) devices for young people in the developing world. Large productivity gains are crucial in low-income countries like Uganda where it is estimated that only 12 practising orthopaedic technologists serve over 90,000 disabled children in need of O&P devices.

On average, it takes five days to produce a conventional prosthetic device in Uganda and other developing countries. 3D PrintAbility shows promise to cut production to 1.5 days, meaning a child can be fitted with a new custom device within one overnight stay rather than one week’s stay at hospital. Nia is developing 3D PrintAbility in collaboration with technology partners like Vorum and trialling it with orthopaedic technologists in Uganda and other low-income countries.

“The ingenuity of 3D PrintAbility lies in its integration of highly specialized design software with inexpensive commercial scanners and printers to produce better fitting devices more quickly than is possible with conventional methods,” says Matt Ratto, Nia Chief Science Officer and University of Toronto Professor. “Vorum’s generous contribution of Canfit to 3D PrintAbility means that Nia will be able to deliver proven, comprehensive, and easy-to-use tools to developing countries like Uganda sooner and more economically than originally planned.”

Jerry Evans, Nia CEO, observes that, "Roseline, a four-year-old Ugandan girl born without a right foot, was the first patient to receive a 3D PrintAbility socket in 2015. With her 3D PrintAbility socket in place, Roseline was able to walk and run alongside other children for the first time in her life. Our goal is to help thousands more children like Roseline–and Nia’s partnership with Vorum, a market leader in fabrication technologies in the developed world, will help us get there sooner.”

“Nia’s 3D PrintAbility solution will enable a substantial increase in the capacity of the very few trained orthopaedic technologists in countries like Uganda to provide life-changing, high-quality artificial limbs to children in need,” states Carl Saunders, Vorum CEO. “We are thrilled to contribute to a social enterprise that will empower local providers to help thousands of additional children in the poorest countries.”

Clinical trials of 3D PrintAbility, now including Canfit, are scheduled to begin in Spring 2016 at CoRSU Hospital in Uganda. Transtibial (below-the-knee) prosthetic sockets and ankle-foot orthotic (AFO) braces will both be trialed.

About Vorum
Every 90 seconds, a custom orthotic or prosthetic device is made somewhere in the world using Vorum computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. At over 650 facilities, O&P practitioners are using Vorum’s digital solutions to increase productivity by up to 600%, slash device turnaround time, and improve the experience and treatment outcomes for their patients. http://www.vorum.com

About Nia Technologies
Nia Technologies Inc. is a Canadian non-profit social enterprise that develops and deploys 3D PrintAbility orthopaedic solutions in developing countries. Formed and owned by cbm Canada, Nia is supported by the University of Toronto, Grand Challenges Canada, and other foundations and donors. http://www.niatech.org

Media Contacts:
Nia Technologies: Kathleen Gotts, kgotts(at)niatech.org (647.969.9351)
Vorum: Stephen Brennan, sbrennan(at)vorum.com (800-461-4353 ext 2302)

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Kathleen Gotts

Stephen Brennan
Vorum
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