End-year greetings from the ISPO President

22 December 2021

white and black candle holder

As in the previous year, the COVID 19 pandemic has continued to impose restrictions in 2021. However, despite the ongoing challenges, ISPO can look back at many successes in the past year. Over the year, ISPO has worked on the “digital renovation” of the Society, aiming to improve the ISPO website, and enhance information exchange abilities and membership management services, and to establish an innovative eLearning platform. This work will be continued in 2022.

More than 800 people attended the first virtual ISPO World Congress held in November, at which participants were able to learn and exchange information on different topics. Under the theme “Digital transformation in an Evolving World”, professionals from all over the world shared their insights in 4 keynote lectures, 4 regional panels, 16 symposia, 12 instructional courses, 141 free paper and 87 poster presentations. At the end of the congress, a new Executive Board has taken office and all ISPO Committees are starting their work of the new biennium with renewed compositions. For the first time, ISPO national Member Societies has been invited to submit candidatures to support the different Committees.

In 2021, we have continued to work with the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI) by gathering evidence on the use of digital technologies for manufacturing prostheses and orthoses as part of a process of consensus-building around which technologies and approaches would most benefit from research and development investment. The global consensus-building process will culminate in the publication of a report on how digital transformation could improve the quality, availability, and accessibility of services.

The LEAD (Lower Extremity Amputation Dataset) and COMPASS (Consensus Outcome Measures for Prosthetic and Amputation Services) project has been finalised and the report was launched in December 2021. By providing instruments to monitor the impact and quality of prosthetic services, LEAD and COMPASS will contribute to the improvement of the quality of available data, which is instrumental in order to take informed decisions and improve care. The completion of the project demonstrates ISPO’s capacity to be innovative by creating a new way of reaching consensus in the absence of face-to-face meetings.

Despite the travel ban, accreditation of prosthetic and orthotic training programmes has continued, with 12 training programmes having successfully gone through the re-accreditation process this year. Again, ISPO has adapted by developing a virtual audit process. In addition, the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Committee has continued to work on the implementation of the ISPO e-learning platform (ISPOLearn), which should be available in early 2022.

In 2022, ISPO will continue to work itit with its members and partners on projects aiming to improve the quality of life for persons who may benefit from the rehabilitation practice of prosthetic, orthotic, mobility and assistive technology.