Prosthetic limb help on the way for Ukrainian victims of Putin’s war

University of Michigan researchers make advance in prosthetics

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With more than 12,000 people in Ukraine awaiting prosthetic limbs, a US-based not-for-profit is planning to scale up the number of people it can help thanks to a groundbreaking deal enabling doctors to keep track of the progress of patients remotely. Protez Foundation is committed to helping rehabilitate and promote the opportunity for a normal life to Ukrainian soldiers, civilians and children who have suffered limb loss during the war.

To this end, it raises money to support prosthetic treatment and rehabilitation, with the average cost of treating one patient almost £12,500 ($15,000), and the average time spent in the US for each patient between three and four weeks.

By the end of the year, Protez Foundation will have helped more than 30 Ukrainians in need of a prosthetic – but up to now, have had no way of keeping track of how they are doing.

However, things are set to change after a deal was struck with OneStep, an innovative platform for digital physical therapy which uses pioneering science to turns any smartphone into a clinical-grade motion analysis lab, to provide remote care for their patients.

Yakov Gradinar, certified prosthetist and orthotist and chief medical director, Protez Foundation, said: “For months, we have been doing prosthetic operations, fittings and treatment plans and then sending patients home with no way to track their progress to determine if and how their treatment plans should be adjusted.

“The partnership with OneStep is a game-changer – it rounds out our efforts, enabling us to easily stay connected with our patients and get a 360 degree view of their movement from thousands of miles away.”

Using OneStep’s app, when somebody takes a walk with their smartphone in their pocket, the app collects a set of gait measurements, allowing for consistent remote monitoring.

Tomer Shussman, co-founder and CEO, OneStep, explained: “The development and increased accessibility of digital health technology is empowering clinicians to provide personalised care like never before.

“With the talented team at the Protez Foundation, we are changing the way prosthetic care is being delivered, helping patients gain confidence and assurance, and ensuring care continuity all the way to the front lines.

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“We are so proud to be able to bring our technology forward to support this worthwhile effort.”

As of November 2022, Protez Foundation has received more than 600 applications but the real need is much larger.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Social Policy, there are about 12,000 amputees currently registered and awaiting prosthetics.

Therefore, Protez Foundation is working towards the goal to bring between 10-30 people a month for prosthetics.

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