New world standards aim to give people greater access to specialist healthcare
Scientists at Staffordshire University have been tasked with helping develop new international standards for orthotic and prosthetic services.
Funded by US-AID through World Health Organisation (WHO), the project forms part of an initiative by the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) to help people in developing countries to access the specialist services they need.
In their bid to raise standards worldwide, ISPO requested that international research groups/ organisations bid for funding to carry out a systematic review of scientific evidence and report back with their findings.
Having successfully landed the contract, the team from Staffordshire University, led by Professor Nachi Chockalingam, is part way through the project.
Professor Chockalingam said “We have a strong research and academic track record in the areas of clinical biomechanics and musculo skeletal rehabilitation and we understand the huge responsibility that we have in presenting this report to the ISPO and the WHO. This will have huge implications on the development of International Standards for Prosthetic and Orthotic devices and services.”
Dr Aoife Healy added: “It is an enormous task and we have started looking at approximately 31,000 research outputs which will directly feed into our report. We have put together an international advisory board, which includes experts from the US, Brazil, India, Tanzania, Italy and from the UK.”
The Staffordshire team will present their preliminary findings to the International Standards Group meeting in Bangkok later this month.
Dr Sandra Sexton from the ISPO said “We are delighted to have Professor Chockalingam and Dr Healy on board to complete this review. As it stands, only a very small proportion of world population, who needs orthotic and prosthetic support have access to these services. The WHO and ISPO are very keen to improve this situation and we hope the development of these standards will fuel this change.”
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