Innovation Conference: Enable Community Foundation brings innovative solutions to prosthetists, clinics and people with limb differences around the world

SVCF is proud to announce that the Enable Community Foundation will be a featured exhibitor at the Innovation Conference. Enable Community Foundation (ECF), founded in 2014, is changing how the needs of congenital and traumatic upper limb amputees are addressed. ECF’s focus is on transformative delivery of affordable, quality, sustainable care to underserved populations of individuals with limb differences, primarily in low-income countries and near conflict zones. ECF uses open design, 3D technology, a web-based infrastructure and related education, training and capacity building to fulfill its mission.

SVCF’s Innovation Conference, taking place Oct. 9-11 in San Francisco, will feature ECF in an "Innovation Lab," where interactive exhibits and displays from cutting-edge companies will allow attendees to experience and examine groundbreaking products and technology up close. Register now for the Innovation Conference before ticket sales end Oct. 5.

Lending hands to the world’s disabled population

According to ECF, upper extremity limb loss presents complex problems for patients and clinicians. ECF is building a scalable system for the distributed development and deployment of context-appropriate, low-cost 3D printed prosthetic devices. The organization is aggressively developing a model that works through existing humanitarian partnerships to introduce technology-based solutions for prosthetics to those in greatest need. In parallel, ECF also strives to promote a culture of openness in evidence-based service delivery, so that device and process enhancements can extend solutions to as many patients as possible, through as many partners as possible. 

Motivating ECF’s work is the fact that much of the world’s disabled population have extremely poor to non-existent access to prosthetics and orthotics services. Experts estimate that about 80 percent of the world’s disabled populations live in developing countries. An estimated 25.5 million people are in need of prosthetic and orthotic devices across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The World Health Organization estimates that only 5 percent have access to rehabilitative services, like prosthetics, in the developing world and more than 75 percent of developing countries have no prosthetics and orthotics training programs.

Even in wealthy nations, the number of certified orthotist and prosthetists specializing in upper limb differences is limited. Children with limb differences often face teasing, stigma and exclusion. Moreover, many health plans do not cover services for kids who have one “good” hand or arm, ECF says. Some families find they cannot afford the high cost of prosthetics for their growing children, while others discover that their kids reject using the clunky, heavy and eminently uncool traditional devices available to them.

Empowered cross-disciplinary teams

ECF believes that the adoption of a patient-centered, multidisciplinary team approach to both design and case management, as well as disseminating knowledge surrounding the options available to people with disabilities and their caregivers is critical to patients’ long-term success. By combining evidence-based resources, education, training and capacity building; web-accessible open source tools; and innovative solutions grounded in 3D technologies with established e-health protocols and SMS, ECF and its partners are addressing the shortage of prosthetists and rehabilitation experts in under-resourced areas with high unmet needs.

To find out more about ECF, visit its site.

Interested in seeing ECF in action? Register now for the Innovation Conference! Registration ends Oct. 5. .

Be sure to check out other special guests who will be discussing the latest on technology and philanthropy, including experts from Code for America, LinkedIn for Good, Khan Academy, Mozilla Foundation and many more.