Transformational Events

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By Karen Henry

We've all heard of transformational moments- watershed events that alter the course of our personal or professional lives. But there are also transformational events that shape us as a society and as a world community. One of the most significant technological transformational developments in recent history is, of course, the Internet. Since the inception of the Internet in the 1960s, the possibilities for information technology (IT) have exploded. Whether we like it or not, IT touches nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Even in O&P, computer technology is impacting the way devices are fabricated and practices are managed. This issue takes a look at some of those transformations.

While computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is not new to O&P, as the technology grows in sophistication, so do the possibilities for its application. Judy Otto takes a look at the technology and some of the new and emerging applications of CAD/CAM.

As technology adoption in O&P practices continues to grow, so do the offerings of software vendors, which have developed just about every solution imaginable to help manage the clinical and business aspects of an O&P practice. Tackling the business end of the spectrum, Morgan Stanfield explores how IT is transforming the way some practices are run as well as a variety of small- and large-scale solutions that are currently available.

Transformational Collaborations

In 2005, four of the national O&P organizations came together to pursue consensus agenda items in an effort to reduce or eliminate duplicate efforts of the individual organizations to forward the interests of the O&P field. Since then, the O&P Alliance has enjoyed a number of policy successes, which we are pleased to present to readers in this issue .

What is transformational to one person may be a mere blip on the radar for another. What do you find is having the greatest impact on the way you run your business or deliver care to your patients? Send your comments and suggestions to

Correction: In the August 2008 issue of The O&P EDGE , we mistakenly printed that the Georgia Institute of Technology's new doctoral program in applied physiology with a focus on prosthetics and orthotics was the "world s first" doctoral program. It is well known that there are a number of universities around the world that offer a PhD in prosthetics and orthotics. We apologize for the error.