Activity: Visiting an external institution types › Visiting an external academic institution
Legbank for Colombia
Joint Master Project
The project is called Joint Master Project (JMP), whereby students from the three different master programs collaborate to develop a design solution. The project duration lasts from September 2014 until January 2015 and is done in cooperation with TU Delft and an external organization. The aim is to go through all phases of the product design process, from conducting research to finding a problem definition to the creation, development and implementation of a concrete design solution. This design solution may be a physical product, but could also be a product-service system. For specific terminology used throughout this report find the description in Appendix 1.
Colombia is home to about 40.000 leg amputees caused by traumatic experiences (i.e. land mines, traffic accidents or accidents at work) and disease (i.e. diabetes). The inability the amputation of a leg creates can have extreme consequences for a person’s social and professional life. Especially for low-income people living in rural areas who often become victims of land mines. Although after amputation an amputee can never fully regain physical functionality as before amputation, to some degree functionality can be regained by replacing the amputated leg by an artificial leg, also called prosthesis.
Currently, prosthesis are very expensive (around €1400) in Colombia. The market is dominated by countries such as Japan, France, Germany and USA, offering expensive solutions. Bearing in mind that the average salary is about €300,-, that (parts of) the prosthesis need to be renewed after some years and that especially in rural areas people survive from subsistence farming, this is very costly for persons in need. The government pays the expenditures for militaries, but only pays a part of the costs of the citizens.
A high quality and low-cost solution that enables thousands of low-income amputees is needed, to increase their health, social wellbeing and economic productivity because of increased mobility.
An innovative solution: leg bank
We believe the most innovative and effective solution for this problem is found in the creation of a Leg Bank. Besides locally producing and offering low-cost and customized prosthesis to amputees, it also offers a financial system (e.g. lease or loan) to make the prosthesis economically accessible to the poor. It is innovative in three ways:
• Affordable & high quality
• Accessible to all
• Financial service component