Hundreds of thousands of people each year are rendered immobile from amputations due to wars, disease and natural disasters in developing countries. For these amputees, the cost of a regular prosthetic (typically thousands of dollars) is outrageously expensive. In 2009, we reported the creation of the JaipurKnee, an inexpensive knee joint designed by a group of Stanford students. The JaipurKnee has now been further refined by ReMotion, a part of a San Francisco based non-profit product development company called D-Rev, whose mission is to improve the health and incomes of people living on less than $4 per day.
The knee joint is the most complex and expensive component of a leg prosthesis system. Affordable leg prostheses typically have severe limitations due to the use of single-axis knee joints, similar to a door hinge. When a person using a single axis joint system prosthetic walks on rough terrain, the device can be unstable and can even buckle causing dangerous loss of balance. The ReMotion knee design offers high durability due to the use of an oil-filled nylon polymer that self-lubricates with use. It has a simple geometry consisting of five plastic pieces and four standard fasteners, has 165 degree range of motion allowing users to kneel and squat and weighs only 1.5 lb.
Since Medgadget last reported on the JaipurKnee, close to 5000 patients have been fitted with ReMotion’s prosthetic and 95% of these patients have reported no failures of the knee joints. ReMotion has now partnered with the Jaipur Foot Organization (BMVSS), the largest provider of prosthetics in India and the world. All qualifying above-knee amputee patients in Jaipur, India are being fitted with the ReMotion JaipurKnee as part of a pilot program trough BMVSS.
In February of this year D-Rev was named as one of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2013. D-Rev will continue to receive such accolades if it keeps up its stellar track record of developing cost effective healthcare solutions such as the JaipurKnee.