Oklahoma City, OK, September 30, 2010—Orthocare Innovations has been honored with the 2010 da Vinci Award, an international award that spotlights the world’s most innovative technologies for people with disabilities. Orthocare received the award for its Compas™ Computerized Prosthesis Alignment System. Compas is a first-of-its-kind device that lets people with leg amputations live more active, healthier lives by helping to improve the alignment of their prosthesis. The system also helps prove to insurance companies the benefit of prosthetic treatment.
“We are very pleased to receive this prestigious international award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society,” said Doug McCormack, Orthocare Innovations CEO. “The da Vinci Award further reinforces the innovative approach employed in Compas and Smart Pyramid™ to restore and optimize function of persons with limb loss.”
Traditionally, aligning a prosthesis has been a complex and difficult challenge for prosthetists, the clinicians who custom build prosthetic limbs for amputees. Where each component of the prosthesis is placed in relation to the others helps determine how the residual limb bears weight and whether the patient’s intended movement is transferred efficiently through the leg. Alignment that is less than ideal can lead to fatigue, increased risk of injury due to falls, blistering and bruising inside the socket, and lack of confidence while performing everyday tasks.
Prosthetists have traditionally had to try to determine optimal alignment by watching the patient walk, eyeballing the movement dynamics, then adjusting and readjusting the alignment multiple times. Amputees commonly need many office visits to get good enough alignment to feel comfortable and confident going about their day. Few prosthetists have access to gait laboratories, the facilities that use expensive, specialized equipment to gather alignment data.
Orthocare Innovations’ Compas system combines two devices—the Smart Pyramid and the Compas Master alignment-detection unit—with the Bluetooth-enabled Compas software to continuously measure the forces of balance and movement that act on a prosthetic limb while the prosthesis wearer is standing or walking on any terrain. The Smart Pyramid is a lightweight, sensor-packed device that is built into the prosthetic limb in place of a traditional prosthetic pyramid (a steel or titanium component that sits below the socket) and measures the movement forces acting on the limb. During an office visit, the prosthetist connects the Smart Pyramid to the Compas Master unit, which contains gyroscopes and accelerometers that help read and analyze the Smart Pyramid’s data. The Compas Master then transmits the data to the Compas software, which analyzes the movement data and provides graphical readouts and suggested instructions for improving the alignment.
The prosthetist can also use reports from the Compas system to help prove to insurance companies or Medicare that the prosthesis is beneficial. Many insurance companies refuse to pay for prosthetic limbs unless the prosthetist can prove a benefit to the patient, and may automatically reject requests to pay for high tech limbs, which can radically improve a patient’s quality of life. The Compas reports provide objective proof that a prosthesis has helped improve patient gait, a key factor in health.
The da Vinci Awards are a global awards program presented by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to recognize and celebrate the world’s most innovative adaptive and assistive technologies. Nominations were received this year from across the U.S, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Denmark. The U.S. entries hailed from 17 states and the District of Columbia.
For information on the Compas click here