The Latest Ottobock Ankle
Ottobock continues to strengthen its position as the global market leader in prosthetics with the acquisition of the US company, BionX. The company produces the world’s only activeprosthetic foot and ankle solution available in the market – the emPOWER Ankle.
It replaces the function of the muscles and tendons with an actively driven ankle joint and supports the user by supplying additional energy while walking. Ottobock continues to expand its portfolio of mechatronic prosthetic feet with the acquisition.
President of Otto Bock HealthCare, Professor Hans Georg Näder, said: "Innovations are our key growth driver. Combining the know-how of Ottobock and BionX is a crucial step towards reaching goals such as the intuitive prosthetic leg more quickly.”
This is the second forward-looking addition to the portfolio this year, following the recent acquisition of the BeBionic hand.
"With the products we have acquired, both in upper limb and lower limb prosthetics, we will
offer even more comprehensive fitting solutions in the future and therefore even better quality for life in the interest of our users. We are also promoting constructive networking with minds at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and are already working on the joint further development of existing ideas with the BionX team,” continues Professor Näder.
BionX company founder and inventor of the first generation of the emPOWER Ankle, Hugh Herr, is also a Professor at MIT where he directs the Center for Extreme Bionics. Herr is considered one of the world leaders in the field of high-tech research.
The headquarters and production facility of BionX are located in the Boston area as well. Ottobock is moving closer to the Boston research community with the acquisition.
"I am certain that this transaction constitutes an important step towards shaping the future of bionic prostheses by combining Ottobock’s proven track record of setting standards of care for amputees with BionX’s ground-breaking product and innovation capabilities,” explained Dr Hugh Herr.
Ottobock has already been the exclusive distributor of the emPOWER Ankle in the markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom since last year. Now, the company is also taking over global marketing with the acquisition of BionX.
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Prosthetic Challenges to Successful Amputee Rehabilitation
Peer-reviewed publications have shown that traditional prosthetic devices, such as ‘microprocessor’ systems, create gait abnormalities. Any deviation to a natural gait can lead to any four clinical issues that affect the rehabilitation of people with amputation. These issues include fatigue, slower walking, a feeling of instability, and potential musculoskeletal impairments including osteoarthritis and low back pain.