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Ossur's Proprio Foot nets the 2007 da Vinci Award

September 28, 2007 (Aliso Viejo, CA) Ossur, a trusted and global developer of more scientifically advanced prosthetic innovations than any other company in the field, is pleased to announce that its PROPRIO FOOT is the winner of a 2007 da Vinci Award.

The PROPRIO FOOT, the latest in Ossurs Bionic Technology platform, is the worlds first motor-powered and intelligent prosthetic foot, a seamless fusion of electronics, mechanics, and human physiology that reduces the energy patients spend in reacting consciously to the environment. The foot replaces muscle function that was lost due to an amputation, enabling amputees to perform normal, functional activites by:

  • Sensing. Knowing where their foot is in space is a huge safety issue for amputees. Sophisticated sensor technology mimics the bodys own neural receptors that are sensitive to mechanical change, providing artificial proprioception (that sense of where the limb is in space). Hence the name PROPRIO FOOT.
  • Thinking. Patented artificial intelligence (AI) processes information from the sensors and activates the most appropriate response for the next step.
  • Acting. The AI transmits a constant stream of signals which instruct high-precision actuator technology to act and deliver optimal function. Expertise in real-time motion analysis for the foot was provided by Canadian company, Dynastream.

The PROPRIO FOOT provides unprecedented physiological benefits for transtibial amputees. A wide and automated range of ankle flexion with proven Flex-Foot dynamics means function is as close as you can get today to the human foot. The PROPRIO FOOT thinks for itself, responding beautifully to changing terrain and transforming the approach to stairs and slopes, as well as level-ground walking. Angling itself appropriately, it also helps amputees to sit and stand up easily and more naturally.

The da Vinci Awards - the prestigious annual recognition program effected by the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society - honors outstanding engineering achievements relative to design process, product design and applied research as relate to accessibility and universal design issues.

We take great pleasure in knowing that the PROPRIO FOOT has won the 2007 da Vinci Award, said Eythor Bender, Ossur Americas president. The foot was launched in September, 2006, and the U.S. Department of Defense and the VA are both actively using it to benefit servicemen returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, as well as veterans of past wars. It is also quickly becoming the foot of choice for diabetic amputees all over the world.

The 2007 da Vinci Award winners will be honored at a ceremony this evening, Friday, September 28th, during a gala reception at the Ritz Carlton in Dearborn, Michigan. Heidrun Ragnarsdottir, director of product management and lead engineer on the PROPRIO FOOT project, will be on hand to accept.

In addition to the 2007 da Vinci Award, the PROPRIO FOOT has walked away with the 2007 Medical Design Excellence Award, Popular Science magazines Best of Whats New in Personal Health Award, and Frost & Sullivans 2006 Medical Devices Technology Innovation Award.


Contact: Beverly Millson

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