CONFERENCE COVERAGE: Orthotics Technology Forum 2013

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In late May lower extremity clinicians, orthotic lab owners and managers, and technology experts gathered at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta for a discussion of digital technology in orthotic application, design, and manufacture.

By Emily Delzell

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High-tech path leads to the future of improved orthotic prescription

One of the most-talked-about images from the 2013 Orthotics Technology Forum (OTF) depicted 11 custom foot orthoses made by 11 experienced orthotists and podiatrists for a single patient. All 11 practitioners had been given the same information about the patient’s condition, yet all 11 orthoses were distinctly different.

3D printing: The shape of things to come

The Orthotics Technology Forum presentation given by Ben Boyer, CPed, was as much about what the speaker was wearing as what he was saying. Boyer, who is the lab manager at Kintec in Vancouver, Canada, wore a product he thinks may represent part of the future of orthotic design and manufacture—orthoses he’d printed with a hobbyist-level desktop 3D printer.

Lean manufacturing transforms orthotic fabrication

The need to replace entrenched processes and thinking with fluid, fast-moving orthotic design and manufacture that minimizes errors and maximizes resources was highlighted by several speakers at the Orthotics Technology Forum, including Jarret Eschenburg, CPed, director of operations at Coral Springs, FL-based SureFit, a subsidiary of Hanger.