Victoria Hand Project extends reach to help amputees and kids in Canada and the U.S.

Nick Dechev sits in the Victoria Hand Project lab at UVic. He holds a prosthetic hand. On the desk next to him sit a 3D-printed scoliosis brace and a 3D printer.
Engineering researcher Nick Dechev displays a prosthetic hand and white, porous scoliosis brace at the Victoria Hand Project lab at UVic. Both devices were developed using a 3D printer, like the one shown right.

2019 December —A University of Victoria initiative that provides 3D-printed prosthetic hands to amputees in seven developing countries around the world, will now be able to extend its reach to help people in underserved and remote communities in Canada and the U.S.

This initiative led by Nick Dechev, UVic professor of mechanical engineering and executive director of the Victoria Hand Project (VHP), received a $1-million award by the 2019 TD Ready Challenge. UVic was one of ten 2019 grantees announced today by the TD Bank Group.

The new funding will enable the not-for-profit VHP to provide low-cost prosthetic hands to Canadian and American amputees, and also to initiate UVic research trials on new 3D-printed spinal braces designed to treat scoliosis (curvature of the spine) in children.

Over the next three years, the grant will fit 200 amputees with hand prostheses and 160 children with scoliosis braces. The funding will also enable VHP to build a network of partner prosthetic/orthotic clinics that will refer patients living in remote and underserved regions in North America.

“By leveraging new technologies and engineering design, along with our clinical partnerships, we are able to create health care technology that is accessible for many people who normally cannot afford this care,” says Dechev.

Read the full story at UVic News

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