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BME doctorate student Aaron Fleming and recent Graduate Alumn Lindsay Sullivan, together with MBA Dustin Prescott are the co-founders of an accessible prosthetics startup OpenGait Prosthetics. Back in 2017, the three of them took a product innovation course at NC State, where they came up with the idea of manufacturing affordable prosthetic kits for above-knee amputees in developing countries.

In 2019, OpenGait joined LifeNabled in Guatemala, a company that provides prosthetics and orthotics to amputees in developing nations), making traditional sockets and testing their socket prototype on two amputees. Using the amputees’ feedback, OpenGait is continuing to develop a prosthetic that can be worn for an extended period of time.

The OpenGait team hopes to have a final prototype of the socket system within two years. Then, the goal is to help organizations reach more amputees, so they are also developing a prosthetic kit that will include everything needed to fit an above-the-knee amputee with a prosthetic. It would give amputees access to prosthetics even if they don’t live near a medical facility with prosthetic services. “We would hope to remove those barriers,” Sullivan said. “You could give a kit to someone in the middle of nowhere.” We couldn’t be prouder of this initiative: many congratulations to BME student Aaron Fleming and Alumni Lindsay Sullivan! You can read the full news here.

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