Technology for people 4.0: Ottobock at OTWorld 2018
Professor Näder: “Digital progress means more quality of life for our users”
At this year’s leading international trade fair for orthopaedic technology, Ottobock will be giving visitors an insight into new possibilities for providing treatment in the digital age – Technology for people 4.0. OTWorld will be held from 15 to 18 May in Leipzig, Germany.
“If you consider the bigger picture, it’s immediately evident that technological change has been progressing rapidly in the digitised world for some time now. New production processes using scanning, checking, transmitting and printing are set to radically transform the field of technical orthopaedics and workflows in workshops,” says Professor Hans Georg Näder, President and Chairman of the Board of Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA. “The bottom line is that 3D printing technology can be used to achieve advantages for the people who rely on our products, enabling them to regain their quality of life.”
Digitised production makes it possible to place a more intensive, individual focus on the patients. “What’s wonderful is that patients, the doctor or therapist and family members all have more time as a result of this process of change – and we and our partners, the O&P professionals, see this change as an opportunity. Digital progress means more quality of life for our users,” says Näder.
Digitising orthopaedic technology
To this end, Ottobock’s trade fair exhibition is placing a major focus on future trends in orthopaedic technology, such as digital production processes for fabricating and designing cutting-edge devices. One particularly fascinating question is how the generative manufacturing of orthoses, prostheses and insoles works. Ottobock will be demonstrating the advantages of 3D printing and the CAD/CAM method, a digital milling technology for the production of plastic parts.
Pattern recognition with the bebionic prosthetic hand
Pattern recognition represents another milestone in the further development of intuitively controlled arm and hand prostheses, with the aim of offering greater benefits for users. Myo Plus – Ottobock’s latest generation of prosthetic control systems – learns from people by storing patterns of muscle movements that are characteristic of specific grips performed by the user’s hand. When the user wants the hand to make grasping movements, Myo Plus detects the respective muscle signals and automatically performs the grips.
This makes it possible to easily control complex movements, and switching between different joint functions is no longer necessary. An O&P professional supports the personalised process of learning and storing the patterns with an app.
Ottobock will be presenting the innovation of pattern recognition for the first time during presentations and workshops at OTWorld, using the bebionic hand as an example. The advantage for the user is significantly more intuitive control. The bebionic hand has five movable fingers and 14 grip patterns. They make it possible to grip objects with a fast, strong and controlled motion that closely approximates the natural movement of the hand. The individually controllable fingers make it possible, for instance, to operate a keyboard or a computer mouse.
World premiere of the new C-Brace® generation
Ottobock will also be presenting the new generation of the microprocessor-controlled C-Brace® system for the first time at OTWorld. The system includes extensive new features, both for O&P professionals and for users. Medical supply companies can now assemble the C-Brace and perform customer fittings themselves after obtaining the necessary certification. Ottobock will continue to fabricate the individual components of the orthosis as before.
The O&P professional fits the C-Brace to the patient using a specially developed app on a tablet device, a process that is significantly easier for the O&P professional and more comfortable for the user. This innovative option also generates greater added value for medical supply companies.
Test users of the new generation of the C-Brace were delighted with the enhanced walking experience. They found they were able to focus on other things around them while walking. The joint unit is much smaller than in the previous model and can therefore be worn under trousers. The new system captures all sensor data in the joint, which means that an ankle joint cable is no longer required. Another advantage for the user is that the system can be adjusted using a smartphone app and the additional LED display on the joint, making it easier to operate.
The new generation of the C-Brace will be available at certified medical supply companies from the end of June.
Lectures and workshops
Ottobock will also be promoting the transfer of expertise in numerous presentations at congress symposia as well as practical workshops during OTWorld. The company invites visitors to attend its over 25 lectures and 20 workshops. Parallel to this, themed shows and world premieres with users and specialists will be held daily in the promotions area at Ottobock’s exhibition stand.