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It was announced on Thursday 23rd June that Blatchford has been awarded the MacRobert Award by the Royal Academy of Engineering for its Linx prosthetic limb.
Established in 1969, the prestigious MacRobert Award is regarded as the leading prize recognising innovation in UK engineering. Amputees frequently experience back pain, difficulties on various terrain and require a higher cognitive and energy demand as they plan and analyse each and every step. Linx represents ground-breaking technology within the prosthetics industry as it continuously shares information between the knee and foot to adapt automatically to changing terrains and circumstances, allowing users more freedom, confidence and stability. The replication of natural motion is at the heart of Blatchford’s design philosophy, and Linx represents the beginning of the development of intuitive and integrated prosthetic limb systems.
The Linx Development team, comprising Professor Saeed Zahedi, Dr David Moser, Nadine Stech, Rob Painter and Andy Sykes, attended the award ceremony at the Tower of London.
Stephen Blatchford, Executive Chairman is thrilled with the result, commenting “I am delighted that we have been selected as the winner of the 2016 MacRobert Award for Innovation in Engineering. This is the premier engineering award to win and it is a tremendous testament to all of the innovation, hard work and effort that has gone into producing the Linx integrated limb system by all of the engineers working on the project. Linx is the first prosthetic leg where information from the foot and knee sensors is used together as Linx evaluates how best to support what the user wants to do and react accordingly. It has helped a large number of amputees live more independent and active lives and the MacRobert Award is a fantastic recognition of this.”
Professor Saeed Zahedi, Technical Director, said “Being twice a finalist in the MacRobert Award in 2010 and 2016 is a great achievement. Being a finalist for the second time provides another sign post to the Blatchford Research and Development team that growth through innovation is the best way forward and that the future of prosthetic technology lies in system integration.”
Blatchford was also a MacRobert Award finalist in 2010 for the Echelon hydraulic ankle.
It was announced on Friday 27th May that Blatchford has been successfully awarded the contract for the orthotic service at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
Opened in 2001 and part of the University Bristol Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children was the first purpose-built hospital for children in the South West of England and provides neurosurgery, cardiology, radiology, orthopaedic surgery and many other treatments for complex conditions. The Bristol Royal Hospital for Children is a renowned centre for the treatment of children across a wide range of specialities.
The service provided assessment and provision of orthotics to approximately 1000 children in 2014/15 with orthotic expertise to deliver high quality products and excellent patient satisfaction. Blatchford is currently the sole provider for both the Sheffield and Birmingham Children’s Hospitals and deliver services for children in a number of acute and community settings.
The three year paediatric orthotic service commenced in June 2016.
Bauerfeind har videreutviklet ryggkorsettet Spinova, og her kan du se produktet i nyeste utgave. Endringene som er gjort er basert på tilbakemeldinger fra ortopediske verksteder og brukere over hele verden, og resultatet er mer brukervennlighet, bedre komfort, og lettere å tilpasse for terapeuter og ortopediske teknikkere og ingeniører.
Silcare Breathe Liners feature laser drilled perforations along the length and distal end to allow moisture to escape, resulting in drier skin and a healthier environment for the residual limb. Managing moisture in this way helps to reduce the damaging effects of friction and improves comfort and control.
The action of walking and weight bearing on the liner also expels air through the pores, and with the use of a one way valve, helps to generate a better vacuum and more secure fit, allowing the user to wear their prosthesis for longer as they benefit from an improved fit throughout the day.
Beate Hesse-Saborowsky is a sporty woman, learned interior design and has three children. And she wears an orthosis. In this video, she tells her story.
Blatchford is proud to be a co-ordinating partner of the €5.95M Horizon 2020 project MovAiD. MovAiD is a cross-disciplinary project joining a consortium of companies under Horizon 2020 EU Program. It aims at developing technologies assisting manufacturing of intelligent, “passive” and highly personalised kineto-dynamic equipment (Movement Assistive Devices) to enhance or compensate human movements, aiding the disabled, elderly and workers.
To enable manufacturing of the Movement Assistive Devices (MADs) some key objectives need to be met. A Total Body Avatar will be created to store personalised information about the MAD’s user, gathered using state-of-the-art scanning tools. MovAiD will also advance engineering solutions to enable automatic generation of a personalised design of the MADs. To enable fabrication of morphologically- and kineto-dynamically-tailored parts, advanced manufacturing solutions, including additive manufacturing will be developed. Since the design, production and assembly tasks will vary between consecutive MADs, an integration platform for their management will be formed to ensure that the production process is conducted in automated and timely manner.
The long-term vision of MovAiD is to promote development of smart, innovative and low-cost solutions and technologies, with a view on enabling emergence of new-generation Movement Assistive Devices as well as increasing the competitiveness of the European manufacturing industry. Such devices will bridge the gap between exoskeletons and classic orthotic devices, representing highly personalised solutions and featuring morphological and kinematic characteristics tailored the needs of the individual user.
For youngsters, life never stops. An active lifestyle needs to be fully equipped to meet the needs of the most demanding user, whether it’s going to school, spending time with friends, running, cycling or taking part in sports.
Blatchford is pleased to announce the launch of Mini Blade XT. A child’s version of the tried and tested BladeXT, Mini BladeXT is designed to offer a complete solution that can be worn for every activity.
Available in dazzling pink and electric blue, Mini BladeXT offers outstanding stability, ground compliance and improved comfort through the split toe and traction sole, while its C-shaped toe spring is primed for optimal energy response.
Mini BladeXT is suitable for amputees aged from around 5 years old through to teenagers and young adults, weighing between 20kg-60kg. It can be prescribed for all levels of amputation where there is sufficient clearance.
Eight year old Cody has been wearing a blue Mini BladeXT and his mum, Anna, is astonished at the difference his new leg has made, commenting, “Cody is a lot more confident and he can keep up with his brothers and friends now he’s wearing his Mini BladeXT. He loves cycling, running around and playing football, so seeing him do everything his brothers and friends can do means so much to us”.
Joe McCarthy, Senior Consultant Prosthetist from Blatchford’s Research and Development team commented, “The development of Mini BladeXT means that we can offer the same features and benefits of BladeXT to younger users. The unique twin toe and heel spring offers stability and support, so it’s a great foot for everyday use. I was pleased to learn the majority of participants in the clinical evaluation wore Mini Blade XT as their preferred limb for many kinds of activities. The feedback we’ve received from the kids and their parents really reinforces the positive effects and security a heel brings”.
David House and Joe McCarthy travelled to Warsaw with amputee demonstrator Lee Boxall for a two day running skills workshop. The event was hosted by our business partner in Poland; Orto-Centrum Ltd.
Over 25 clinicians attended the workshop with sessions led by David House on the theory of running, physical assessment, exercising, conditioning, running drills and component selection.
The sun shone brightly on day two, as we all attended the running track at a sports stadium. We were joined by 6 amputees, where we put into practice the learning from day one. A Polish TV crew filmed during the day for a program to be shown on Polish Sport TV!
All of the amputees wore the BladeXT foot for the session, taking part in warm up stretches and running drills, before running lengths of the track. During the session the running was observed and analysed so that techniques could be improved and prostheses adjusted for optimum performance. As always, Lee was invaluable over the two days helping out with the event and providing excellent demonstrations.
Thanks to Anna Łapińska and Orto Centrum Ltd for organising everything so well and hosting such a fantastic event which was enjoyed by the delegates and the amputees alike. Special thanks also to Darek who translated from English to Polish throughout the two days. One bilateral transtibial amputee commented that this was the first time he had been able to run in 9 years, and another ran a complete lap of the track at the end of the session, just four months after his amputation.
We are now planning to return to Poland next year to run a socket technology and casting course, raising yet further our profile in this market.