The Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) competition has awarded a 2009 silver medal to Alpha Orthotics Corporation, Tiburon, California, for its Bunion Aid™ day/night flexible hinged foot splint for mild to moderate bunions. The Bunion Aid splint was designed and manufactured by Alpha Orthotics’ parent company, Hallufix AG, Munich, Germany. Bunion Aid was honored during a ceremony at the Medical Device & Design East Exposition and Conference in New York City on June 10.
The Medical Design Excellence Awards competition is organized and presented by Canon Communications, Los Angeles, California, and is the only awards program that exclusively recognizes contributions and advances in the design of medical products. Entries are evaluated on the basis of their design and engineering features, including innovative use of materials, user-related functions that improve healthcare delivery and change traditional medical attitudes or practices, features that provide enhanced benefits to the patient, and the ability of the product-development team to overcome design and engineering challenges so that the product meets its clinical objectives.
“Bunion Aid has been honored in Europe, so it feels great to receive a top award in the United States for innovative medical design,” said Gaby Federal, CEO of Alpha Orthotics Corporation.
Bunion Aid is a combination of a medical-grade plastic splint and Velcro® fastening metatarsal and toe straps. The plastic portion of the splint is hinged and fastened along the inside border of the foot with a toe and metatarsal strap. The straps and the splint provide three-point correction of the bunion deformity throughout the gait cycle. A comprehensive review of the entries was performed by an impartial, multidisciplinary panel of third-party jurors with expertise in biomedical engineering, human factors, industrial design, medicine, and diagnostics.