In the field of prosthetics and orthotics, traditional methods are gradually giving way to more innovative techniques and technologies. Two organizations driving this change in Africa are Prothea Kenya and Ugani Prosthetics, who demonstrate a profound commitment to patient-centred care and the pioneering use of 3D technology.
Prothea, the Kenyan operation, and Ugani, the technical arm of the organization, share the same visionary management. They showcase a remarkable blend of clinical excellence and entrepreneurial spirit, fostering a vibrant start-up culture. This approach has catalysed a reduction in patient costs through a unique, incentive-based HR model for staff, including share options and profit percentage payments. Their strategic approach could potentially disrupt the entire prosthetics industry across sub-Saharan Africa.
Prothea remains passionately committed to its mission – enabling as many people as possible to walk again. They strike a harmonious balance between a competitive business model and a patient-centred service ethos, mirroring the disruptive vision of Legs4Africa (L4A).
With a compact yet efficient facility nestled within a private hospital building, Prothea boasts a well-organised and clean environment. Their workshop houses an impressive array of functional equipment, including an oven, four 3D printers, a workbench, and computers, indicative of their innovative approach to prosthetic production. Despite being located on a building’s second floor, the facility maintains commendable accessibility, facilitated by lifts and ample parking.
Prothea’s inventory management system, managed through their developed patient management software, UFit, is another testament to their innovation. This secure and systematic storage method is aligned with a well-stocked inventory of new prosthetic components and materials, such as an abundance of 3D printer filament and quality foam.
In terms of visibility and outreach, Prothea has had a strong start, with a successful opening event attracting both media coverage and a growing client base. Furthermore, they have forged valuable relationships with local services and renowned orthopaedic surgeons across Kenya, solidifying their position within the health services sector.
Their unique business model, driven by reinvesting one-third of their profits back into the company for scaling up, ensures a competitive edge in the prosthetic component market. They deliver affordable solutions compared to competitors, with the potential for even lower costs using L4A components. Prothea’s willingness to share its model and technology opens the door to promising future collaborations.
In summary, both Prothea Kenya and Ugani Prosthetics symbolise a revolutionary approach to affordable, quality, and accessible prosthetic and orthotic care in Africa. Their successful implementation of 3D technology, coupled with a patient-centred approach, holds exciting prospects for the future of prosthetic and orthotic services across the continent.