In Australia, a child is born with cerebral palsy every 15 hours. But unfortunately the demand for the Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFOs) products these children need is much higher than their current availability. Globally, 100 million people need Orthotics, but only 10% get the devices they need. This is due to a shortage of trained personnel, cost, and the way in which they are presently made – which can take up to four weeks.
One company changing the paradigm is Sydney healthtech start - up, AbilityMate.By using state - of - the - art 3D printers and scanners - plus open source blueprints to encourage loose-knit communities of developers worldwide to study, modify, distribute, make or even sell the knowledge they make available. They aim to radically reduce wait times while improving the quality and customised fit of AFOs.With the support of Dreamstarter, they were able to turn a revolutionary dream into a reality.
AbilityMate is a new breed of business that puts people first, not profits. It enables us to create open-source designs for assistive devices needed by people all around the world
Johan du Plessis
co-founder of AbilityMate
In 2016, AbilityMate successfully ran a Crowdfunding campaign with ING Dreamstarter. Their goal was to raise $20,000, but within the first 12hrs of the campaign their community contributed $45,000 to their cause. With such a powerful community initiative, AbilityMate continued their success in raising awareness and funds for their business. In 2016, ING continued their financial support of the business, with a partnership through their launch of ING’s Android Pay Orange Everyday card feature and saw AbilityMate receive $50,000 from ING. They were invited to pitch at ING’s staff forum where they successfully convinced staff to vote for their work - acquiring an additional $2,500 – all proceeds going toward their clinical trials.
- Improve AFO creation times from 4 weeks to as little as 48 hours
- Increase Orthotists efficiency by 400-600%, giving them more time to help more children
- Decrease the cost, which helps families, the NDIS and equipment-funding charities
How to support the work of AbilityMate:
Help fund the research and testing needed to perfect the technology
Be part of the change. They are always looking for orthotists, research partners and clinical trial participants to join the effort.
Spread the word – Follow and share AbilityMate on their social networks and website.