Innovation and Global O&P on Tap at ISPO World Congress

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Attendees watch a fabrication demonstration.

Photographs courtesy  of ISPO/Takashi Kajihara.

The 17th World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) was held in Kobe, Japan, October 5-8. The event drew more than 4,400 participants from around the world, provided a range of learning opportunities, brought together multidisciplinary experts to report their scientific innovations, and showcased global industry solutions to improve mobility and services for people who use prosthetic, orthotic, and other assistive technologies.

Participants came from 97 countries, with 63 percent attending from Japan, and 154 exhibitors came from 38 countries. The robotics exhibition that demonstrated high-tech solutions was a highlight in the exhibition hall.

Keynote speakers included David Constantine, who received a standing ovation for his presentation about development of the wheelchair sector and the role ISPO has played over 30 years.

Particularly outstanding O&P projects were honored during the congress. The Forchheimer Prize went to Lis Sjoberg, Helen Lindner, and Liselotte Hermansson from Örebro University, Sweden, for their paper "Long-term results of early myoelectric prosthesis fittings: A prospective case-control study." The "Coapt Engineering" project by Blair Lock and Levi Hargrove, cofounders of Coapt, Chicago, and Todd Kuiken, MD, PhD, received the Brian & Joyce Blatchford Team Prize for Innovation.

The event provided many opportunities for collaboration.

ISPO's goal for the World Congress was to help attendees learn about the innovative possibilities of rehabilitation and assistive technology. In addition to the scientific program, ISPO also brought globally active societies and aid organizations together to discuss global assistive technology needs, including the World Health Organization, the International Red Cross Committee, and Handicap International. ISPO says the gathering makes the event one of the most important international platforms for mutual exchange and cooperation.

The 18th ISPO World Congress will be held April 19-22, 2021, in Guadalajara, Mexico.