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Insights into open innovation and open source in orthopedics


The matrix gGmbH was part of the “Digital Manufacturing” seminar of the Federal College for Orthopedic Technology

What innovative digital manufacturing processes and new application examples are there in orthopedic technology? For two days, over 80 experts from science and business, as well as students and prospective master craftsmen, exchanged views on this issue as part of the “Digital Manufacturing” seminar. The Federal College for Orthopedic Technology (BUFA) as a competence center for orthopedic and rehabilitation technology on this topic nationwide.

In his lecture, Niels Lichtenthäler explained the advantages of open innovation and open source for orthopedic technology. Using practical examples, he illustrated how sustainable business models can be developed from open source projects. Companies that open development processes and develop them together with others or even build a development community can advance technologies and their transfer into practice more quickly. The learning curve is steeper through the exchange with other developers, but above all through the early involvement of customers. Matrix sees this as an opportunity for small and medium-sized companies in the artisan orthopedics sector.

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The MakeOpaedics project starts here and tries to bring makers and medical supply stores closer together in the development process. This results in digitally produced open source prototypes that will be freely available for further development: an individualized handle for walking sticks and walkers, a mechanically movable foot orthosis and an active hand orthosis.

The event clearly showed that many orthopedic technicians are now developing towards a digital workshop and how innovative aids with high benefits for patients can be created. 3D scanning technology, CAD modeling and additive manufacturing will soon be part of the standard toolbox of orthopedic technicians.

However, questions from participants also showed that not everyone has set out on the path of digital transformation. The use of electronics, sensors, soft robotics or software in the product is now primarily driven by industry. Here, too, open innovation strategies can help to bring the techniques into the development and everyday work of the craft more quickly.

The program and the speakers of the seminar can be found here:

The matrix gGmbH carries out the MakeOpaedics project together with its project partner, the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the project as part of the Funding measure "Open Photonics Pro" within the program "Photonics Research Germany".

Gefördert vom Bundesminsterium für Bildung und Forschung