Disabling foot and ankle pain is common; it impacts negatively on health related quality of life, and it is has major cost implications on health systems across Europe. Foot and ankle orthoses are an effective treatment for these conditions. However, the market is dominated by low cost mass produced products, craftsmanship built customised devices with delivery times >15 days, and a limited range of computer-aided design and manufactured products. The objective of the A-FOOTPRINT project is to develop novel foot and ankle orthoses which are personalised for shape and biomechanical function and can be ready for patient use within 48 hours. The goal is to achieve improved fit and comfort, functionality, aesthetic appeal and ease of use with better clinical and cost effectiveness over state-of-the-art products. Innovative CAD tools will be developed and combined with rapid manufacturing to create complete geometric design freedom. This will be coupled with step change advances in personalisation by developing individual patient data from gait analysis and medical images to inform the design process, aided by biomechanical simulation to optimise functionality such as joint stabilisation and pressure distribution. Rapid manufacturing techniques will be used to develop novel customised orthotic components such as living hinges, variable stiffness and fine resolution cushioning to enable better personalised function. Setting new industry standards, prototype devices will be evaluated by near pharmaceutical industry level controlled trials to further improve product knowledge. This highly integrated, multidisciplinary project will make a significant impact on the health-related quality of life and well-being of EU citizens. The Consortium comprises leading orthotic and enabling technology SME’s, clinical and academic research centres and large enterprise. The project will enable the SME’s to become international leaders with strong competitive advantages.
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NE6 4NQ Newcastle Upon Tyne
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