Innovation That Matters

Bespoke alternative prosthetics boost amputees' self esteem and style

Sport & Fitness

The Alternative Limb Project is helping a stylish audience boost their self esteem, with its fashionable, unconventional prosthetics.

Robohand has already provided an inexpensive, open source substitute for those who can’t afford commercial prosthetics, but what about amputees who want to remain stylish? The UK’s Alternative Limb Project is helping that audience boost their self esteem, with its fashionable, unconventional prosthetics. Founded by Sophie de Oliveira Barata, a graduate of the London Arts University who specialized in special effects for film and television, the project aims to enable amputation patients to creatively customize the prosthetics they use. Rather than accepting dull and practical prosthetics, customers can create their own bespoke limbs that convey aspects of their personality, while also helping them to remain fashionable. So far, the startup has built a ‘stereo leg’ with built-in speakers for a songwriter, a modular anatomical design for a former soldier and a floral prosthetic for a young mother, among others. The studio also produces realistic-looking limbs for those who want to reconstruct their previous appearance. Losing a limb can be a distressing event for patients, affecting their body image, and therefore self esteem. The Alternative Limb Project helps amputees to better express themselves and regain a body they feel is truly theirs. Are there other health products that could be personalized to make patients more likely to use them? Spotted by: Murray Orange



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