3. An affordable prosthetic knee lifts spirits in developing countries
Imagine living in a developing country without advanced medical technology. Now, imagine living there and losing your leg. More than likely, you live on less than $4 a day, and the only thing you can afford is a bamboo staff to assist you. According to Krista Donaldson, CEO of D-Rev, more than 30 million people in the world need some type of prosthetic device and 80 percent of those amputees cannot afford modern prosthetics. But now, that’s all changing with the help of Donaldson and her nonprofit company. Instead of typical prosthetics costing thousands of dollars, she and her team designed an $80 prosthetic knee that acts like a human knee. The life-changing device is called ReMotion and it is lifting spirits and mobility for countless amputees in many of these developing countries. At TEDWomen, Donaldson breaks down her journey in designing ReMotion and explains the three things that are needed to successfully bring this product to those who need it the most. First, the product has to be “on par or better than the best product on the market.” Next, the design has to be “user-centric or user-obsessed.” In other words, all the kinks have to be worked out by the people that know the product intimately—the user. Thanks to this type of feedback provided by its customers, D-Rev was able to modify a clicking sound with a noise dampener on one of its earlier models. Lastly, the product has to be “market driven.” This means that, “products are sold and not donated.” ReMotion has to be liked and worn by the amputee, in order to have successful and continued usage. So when D-Rev checked back with their customers six months later, 79 percent were still wearing their ReMotion. This is a great success over the “industry average of 65 percent,” reports Donaldson. This socially responsible nonprofit operates on the premise that technology can improve lives. To help support their efforts and give the gift of mobility, please make a donation here. Together we can make a difference.