Illini Prosthetic Technologies (IPT), NFP

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011 - $18,800

While approximately 80% of the world’s amputees live in developing nations, only 2% of the people in that segment have access to appropriate prosthetic care and rehabilitation. This is because developing the custom-fit socket for the prosthetic is extremely labor-intensive and expensive. The socket must be fabricated by a trained prosthetist after taking measurements of the individual amputee, and typically costs around $5,000 to produce.

Illini Prosthetic Technologies (IPT) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 by engineering students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop and deliver an affordable prosthetic arm. The paradigm behind IPT’s below-elbow prosthesis is the elimination of the custom-fit in the socket. This allows for a rapid-fitting, off-the-shelf device that is both affordable and appropriate for the developing world. See the current prototype at