IDEO Inventor Joins Hanger Clinic

Ryan Blanck, CPO, who developed the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO), has joined the Tacoma, Washington, Hanger Clinic patient care facility. He has also been appointed to Hanger Clinic's National Upper-Extremity specialist team and will oversee the upper-extremity program for the Northwest region.

With 15 years of prosthetic and orthotic patient care experience, Blanck specializes in the treatment of individuals with trauma-related amputations and injuries. He joins Hanger Clinic from the Center for the Intrepid, Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he provided care to hundreds of wounded U.S. soldiers and invented the IDEO, an energy-storing AFO originally created to meet the need to restore mobility to active-duty and retired service members with lower-limb traumatic injuries and neuromuscular deficits. This technology will be available to the civilian population at select Hanger Clinic locations. Blanck will serve as the national IDEO program director.

"Ryan's creation of the IDEO device has restored mobility to hundreds of soldiers who were experiencing severe pain due to combat-related injuries, and even considering amputation," said Hanger Clinic Regional Director Timothy Zanas, CP, LPO. "Ryan is a forward-thinker dedicated to his patients, and will certainly be a great asset to the patient care we deliver at Hanger Clinic. We are thrilled to add his extensive skillset to the company."

In addition to his development of the IDEO and his work at BAMC, Blanck was head of the upper-limb specialist team and lead prosthetist for various upper-limb research efforts such as the DEKA Arm System, also known as the "Luke Arm," with the Department of Defense (DoD). He also has experience as lead prosthetist for advanced target muscle reinnervation upper-limb myoelectric prosthetic fittings and has worked with hundreds of military amputees at every level of amputation from bilateral to quadruple amputation cases.

For his innovation and commitment to caring for wounded soldiers, earlier this year the U.S. Army presented Blanck with the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the second highest honor given by the U.S. Army to civilian employees.