The Global Problem
Millions of people worldwide are missing a limb due to disease, violence, and a myriad of other causes. An estimated 80% of these individuals are living in developing countries such as Guatemala, India, and Vietnam.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for people in developing countries to obtain prosthetic care, because the infrastructure isn’t there to provide it. While there are many organizations that would love to address this need, they face two key barriers:
Prosthetic Labs Are Expensive
A prosthetic lab requires specialized equipment in a dedicated facility. It would take a large capital investment for an organization to build a prosthetic lab and bring in the proper tools. They would have to spend a great deal of time and money before they even fit their first patient.
A Shortage of Trained People
Conventional prosthetic work requires staff with highly specialized training. This staff must then work to fabricate prosthetic devices by hand. For a clinic to provide prosthetic care, they need to hire and maintain this specialized staff.
Primarily because of these two factors, only 2% of people with amputations in developing countries can even access prosthetic care.
Our Innovative Solution
In 2008, our team set out to try to find a new way of solving this global problem. We spent 5 years, researching, developing, and testing, and we’re excited to announce that we have uncovered a solution.
Our solution is made up of 2 parts, a technology and a distribution model. We don’t claim to be the first to try to create a prosthetic arm for people in need. But we do believe that our combination of a new technology with a system for providing it makes this the best avenue for people in developing countries to access prosthetic arms.
Our Technology: The OpenSocket
The OpenSocket is a prosthetic arm. It has the same core components as any prosthetic arm: a terminal device (hook), a socket, and a cable and harness system. Where the OpenSocket is different is in how it is made, and how easy it is to fit.
How it’s Made
A conventional prosthetic arm must be custom made for each patient. The most intricate part of that process is the fabrication of the socket. To fabricate a conventional prosthetic arm, a highly trained prosthetist must use specialized tools to go from a plaster mold of a patient’s arm to a rigid socket.
The OpenSocket, alternatively, works like a modern shoe. We mass produce the OpenSocket ahead of time, so when a patient walks in the door, it’s all ready to fit.
Fitting the OpenSocket
Actually fitting the OpenSocket to a patient only takes about 30 minutes. The person doing the fitting first takes some simple measurements to determine if the patient needs a small medium or large, and then they fit the socket part of the OpenSocket to the patient by adjusting some simple straps. Finally, they adjust the straps in the harness system, and make one final attachment of the cable.
That’s all it takes, and then a patient can begin using the OpenSocket.
Our System: A Network of Partnerships
Because conventional prosthetic care requires specialized tools and training, it is usually only performed at a few centralized locations.
[map with just a few dots]
With the OpenSocket, we can create a much more de-centralized system and vastly increase the number of access points for people to receive prosthetic care.
[ map with a lot of dots]
Here’s how we create this decentralized network:
1) Form Partnerships
We partner with existing organizations who already work in developing countries. These organizations already have a great deal of skill and knowledge in working with the local population. We provide simple training to these partners so they know how to best fit the OpenSocket.
2) Partners Find Patients
Our partners locate people who can benefit from the OpenSocket. They can do this by advertising in local media, or even looking in their existing records.
3) Partners Buy OpenSockets
Bump sells the OpenSocket to our field partners. At $500 per unit, the OpenSocket costs far less that it would cost that same organization to buy the supplies to produce a conventional system. The $500 covers the complete cost of fabricating each OpenSocket.
4) Partners Fit OpenSockets
Partners take the OpenSockets and fit them to their patients. They also conduct follow-up over the long term. This long term follow-up ensures that patients are always receiving the highest quality of care.
A Proven System
This solution isn’t just an idea, or even an early stage prototype, it’s a system we have been testing and refining for the past 2 years. In those 2 years, we have partnered with 20 different organizations in 10 different countries resulting in 93 people receiving prosthetic arms.
Evidence: What Our Patients Think
[Insert 3 Patient Stories (Carlos Video)]
Evidence: What Our Partners Think
Peter Rohloff M.D., Ph.D. is the Medical Director for Wuqu’ Kawoq - Maya Health Alliance, and a medical instructor at Harvard Medical School. Peter travels to Guatemala frequently to work with people from impoverished Mayan communities. On one of his most recent trips he worked with a few other clinicians to fit 12 OpenSockets in 3 hours.
Luis Boquin M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon at the Orthopedic Institute of Honduras. He is also a Rotarian. Luis and other Rotarians have orchestrated 2 successful camps in San Pedro Sula, Honduras to fit over 20 individuals with OpenSockets.
The Bottom Line
The OpenSocket system is all about maximizing impact. There are many people working to provide prosthetic care to people in need, but with the approaches they are currently taking, they cannot reach even a small percentage.
We want to get the OpenSocket to the people and organizations that are already out there so they have the tools they need to make a difference in the lives of people with amputations.
This Is Where You Come In
Our team developed the OpenSocket and proved that it has the potential make a major dent in the global problem of access to prosthetic arms.
We have a responsibility to scale this solution to reach more than just 93 patients. To do this we need to grow the capabilities of our organization in 2 key ways:
1) Create Molds for Mass Production
Until now, we have made every OpenSocket by hand in our workshop. This enabled us to be extremely efficient in our development process. Now that the OpenSocket technology has been well tested, we need to create the molds to produce at a much larger scale. We already have some grant money that has helped us get started on this, but we estimate that we need about $7,000 more to fund the creation of the molds we need.
2) Give Ourselves the Manpower to Build and Maintain the Network
As we mentioned above, the OpenSocket is just one piece of the solution. To get the OpenSocket out to the people who need it we need to build new partnerships with organizations around the world. We also need to maintain these partnerships and keep the pipelines open for the OpenSocket to get to all of these organizations.
Bump currently gets by on a tiny skeleton crew and a lot of volunteer power. With our team’s current size, we simply cannot execute this on a large scale.
We are asking for a minimum of $30,000 to help us begin getting the OpenSocket out to the people who need it. $30,000 is the minimum amount required for us to complete the construction of our molds for production, and bolster our team to begin getting the OpenSocket out at a larger scale. If we surpass this goal, we will even further secure the future of this effort.
Our team has pushed this a long way, but the rest of our effort depends on your help