Orthocare Innovations has recently introduced Edison, an adaptive vacuum
suspension system that intuitively and automatically adjusts the amount of
vacuum to the level most appropriate to the specific activities of the patient.
While mechanical vacuums work to reach constant pressure, internal pressure
transducers embedded inside Edison determines the patient’s changing
activities and adjusts the level of vacuum independently.
“We follow the basic premise that the requirements and desires of
the amputee are not static,” David Boone, CP, MPH, PhD, chief
technology officer, Orthocare Innovations told O&P Business
News. “They change as the user wants to do different things, be in
different positions or change the environment they are in. Our elevated vacuum
suspension is designed with this in mind. There is no static target vacuum, the
system senses the needs of the user and adapts in real-time and without the
need for the user to do anything.”
|The Edison adaptive vacuum
suspension system has internal memory that tracks volume fluctuations in the
|Image: Orthocare Innovations.|
“Edison can determine, for example, if the patient is sitting at a
desk or in a car driving and relax the amount of vacuum,” Stephen
Jacobs, vice president of sales and marketing, Orthocare Innovations told
O&P Business News. “If the patient is ramping up their
activity for exercise or other aggressive activities it will on its own
determine the level of vacuum required and adjust to it appropriately.”
During the patient fitting process, the prosthetist can select from one
of three standard patient profiles consistent with their individual range of
activities or choose to create a customized patient profile.
With a mechanical pump, a patient may have to take as many as 20 steps
before their socket reaches the desired level of vacuum. According to Jacobs,
Edison will reach the appropriate level of vacuum within just a couple of
“Because of Edison’s variable vacuum, it has as much benefit
for patients who are relatively less active than those who have significant
activity demands,” Jacobs said.
The variable vacuum will have benefits for patients with diabetes and
other dyvascular conditions where circulation and delicate tissues pose
particular clinical challenges for other vacuum systems.
“By automatically and continuously adjusting the pressure in the
socket according to the needs of the wearer, Edison promotes a healthy socket
environment,” Boone said.
One of the common technical challenges facing prosthetists familiar with
vacuum systems is determining what went wrong when the vacuum malfunctions.
Sometimes the problem is in the function of the pump, other times it may be a
“If the patient is fitted with Edison and returns to the
prosthetist with a problem, the system can perform a diagnostic test and show
the prosthetist on a day by day basis its functions and where the possible leak
could be,” Jacobs said.
The internal memory system inside the vacuum is stored and the memory
can be downloaded to the prosthetist’s computer for examination. The
elevated vacuum system measures and records the amount of volume fluctuation of
the limb on a daily basis. A graph is presented to the prosthetist to improve
understanding of the patient’s condition and to provide a practical too
for evidenced based care, according to Boone.
More O&P devices have become technologically sophisticated and
dynamic, allowing for higher level of function. But while electric vacuum pumps
allow for potentially greater benefits, reducing their noise level has been a
source of patient dissatisfaction.
Orthocare Innovations’ elevated vacuum system was designed with a
large bore piston that does not move as feverishly as some predicate electric
pumps, making the vacuum virtually silent.
“The trick is to optimize function and do it in a way that’s
essentially invisible. A quiet vacuum is a huge advantage for patients,”
Jacobs said. — by Anthony Calabro
Boone and Jacobs are employed by Orthocare Innovations.