Blog Post

July 7, 2015 Vinesh Narayan

History of the ReMotion Knee

ReMotion Knee Timeline

The JaipurKnee started as a class project at Stanford University when a group of graduate students designed a low-cost prosthetic knee joint on behalf of the Jaipur Foot Organization, or Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS). BMVSS is the only clinic network that fits the JaipurKnee, which is also manufactured locally in India. To-date this joint has been fit on over 6,800 amputees by BMVSS.

In 2009 a group of students from the Stanford class created a separate organization to carry the project forward. Joel Sadler, Eric Thorsell, and I co-founded ReMotion Designs with the goal of offering low-cost prosthetics to a global market. I have been working on the ReMotion Knee ever since.

At ReMotion Designs, we were creating a new knee, a design departure from the JaipurKnee but relying on the same core four-bar mechanism. Our first prototype was tested on five amputees in Ecuador, in partnership with a clinic who we still work with today.

Fundacion Protesis

Ivan Victoria, on-site prosthetist at Fundacion Protesis Para la Vida, Vin Narayan, Joel Sadler, and a patient in Ibarra, Ecuador in 2011.

When D-Rev acquired ReMotion in 2011, D-Rev absorbed all of the ReMotion Designs staff and IP. Being acquired by D-Rev was a huge growth opportunity for the ReMotion Knee, a gateway to getting the new design to the global market.

We spent the next several years iterating the ReMotion Knee design based on user feedback. From May 2013 to August 2014 as part of this design stage we conducted field trials with 66 patients in India, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Over the next year we spent the next year gathered critical data about the design of the ReMotion Knee, learning from clinicians in the field about the fitting and rehabilitation processes, piloting impact assessment strategies, and designing new methods for data collection.

Puspadi

Nesa and Vin at Puspadi Bali evaluating a ReMotion Knee prototype in May 2013.

These field trials provided D-Rev with important feedback on the ReMotion Knee’s design, which allowed us to finalize the design specifications and move forward toward mass manufacturing. Lessons learned about impact assessment will be reflected soon in an update of the Mobility Impact Dashboard on the D-Rev website.

We are now preparing for the biggest milestone—the ReMotion Knee’s global market launch in late 2015. To date, we have received sales inquiries from over 60 countries. Krista’s TED Talk alone prompted over 200 inquiries. D-Rev’s team in San Francisco will manage a network of partners and distributors to deliver the ReMotion Knee to any clinic in the world.

A number of talented people have contributed to ReMotion throughout the years. It is astounding to think about the number of engineers, prosthetists, impact specialists, foundations and funders, logistics experts, NGOs, students, and clinic partners, not to mention amputees and their families, who have helped further the ReMotion Knee’s design and distribution. We are grateful for your continued support.

There will be more updates as we get closer to launch. Stay tuned.

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