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Istituto Nazionale Assicurazione Infortuni Sul Lavoro Inail, Italy

General description

Centro Protesi Inail di Vigorso di Budrio is a public institution, part of the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (Inail), which provides healthcare to people with muscular-skeletal impairments injured at work. The goal of the institution is the functional recovery of the patients and their re-integration into the social and work environments. Over time, the health services provided by Centro Protesi have also been extended to patients assisted by the National Health Service and to Italian and foreign private citizens. Since 2001, the institution has been holding the ISO 9001 certification for the quality management system and in 2013 obtained the authorization to provide long-stay and day-hospital healthcare assistance inside the facility. Currently, the Centro Protesi Inail has different branches and assistance points over the entire national territory and operates in multiple fields related to health care:

  • The production of personalized prostheses, orthoses and orthopaedic aids, including solutions for sports activities;
  • The functional rehabilitation and training of impaired patients in the use of personalized aids;
  • The medical, nursing, and psychosocial assistance;
  • The supply of personalized technical and informatics aids, aids for hygiene and self-care, domotics and mobility devices;
  • The research in the scientific and technological field oriented to the improvement of clinical practice and technological transfer.

With more than 11.000 patients every year, mainly constituted by subjects with a major limb amputation, Centro Protesi Inail represents one of the few entities in the world able to provide complete healthcare assistance for people with a disability involving the musculoskeletal system.

Expertise related to the project

Since its creation in 1961, besides the development of innovative prostheses, orthoses and assistive devices, Centro Protesi Inail has been conducting clinical investigations for their validation and optimization. Indeed, the first myoelectric upper limb prosthesis in the world was conceptualized, patented and produced inside Centro Protesi Inail by Professor Hannes Schmidl, who was appointed by the European community to develop a new prosthesis for amputee subjects in 1965.

Nowadays, this synergic approach between the production of innovative devices and clinical investigation is still adopted.

Due to the evolution of the technologies and the increase in patient needs, in the last decades, Centro Protesi Inail started collaborations with different institutions aiming to pushing innovative research activities. In particular, Centro Protesi Inail held the leadership role of coordination and management of the research projects, focusing on the clinical investigation, translation e technology transfer.

In the last 10 years, the leadership of Centro Protesi Inail more than 30 research projects related to medical robotics allowed obtaining prestigious scientific and technical achievements over the years. The scientific dissemination accounts for more than 100 publications in international journals and more than 20 patents, related to medical devices.

The latest most relevant biorobotic medical devices developed by Centro Protesi Inail are listed below:

  1. Hannes is a polyarticulated robotic hand prosthesis system, which can be used as a highly engineered, less-expensive solution for patients with upper limb amputation. This medical device is currently finishing the certification process and will be soon available for Inail patients. In 2020, Hannes won the Compasso D’Oro, one of the most prestigious prizes in the world for industrial design.
  2. Twin is a robotic powered exoskeleton for ambulation, which allows subjects affected by spinal cord injury to walk. It was developed to improve the existing exoskeleton technologies thanks to the integration of different sensors on board and the implementation of innovative walking control strategies. In 2022, Twin won the prestigious International Forum Design Award.