New Report Highlights “Human Impact” of MiracleFeet Brace
The Assistive Technology Impact Fund (ATIF), part of the UK Aid-funded AT2030 program published a new report, MiracleFeet: the human impact of clubfoot braces in Nigeria and Liberia in which 98% of guardians surveyed, whose children have used the MiracleFeet brace, say clubfoot treatment “overwhelmingly has a positive impact on children’s quality of life, with improvements to children’s ability to move, stand, play, and forge positive relationships.”
A brace worn primarily at night for up to 5 years is a critical part of clubfoot treatment. Poor compliance can lead to relapses. Brace-wearing is the longest stage of the Ponseti method and the most likely to determine long-term success, as the only statistically significant factor in clubfoot recurrence.
In 2021, MiracleFeet became one of the first organizations to benefit from the AT Impact Fund. ATIF supports disability innovation ventures to scale through capital and technical assistance, and aims to drive market-based solutions for assistive products that enable people with impairments to reach their full potential.
MiracleFeet and ATIF are piloting a project to commercialize the MiracleFeet brace in Nigeria—Africa’s largest market with 9,500 children born with clubfoot every year—by leveraging existing medical device distribution channels and healthcare provider networks to expand access to a reasonably priced, high-quality clubfoot brace throughout the country.
To better understand features of the brace, and results of MiracleFeet‘s work for children living with clubfoot, ATIF commissioned 60 Decibels to conduct research using specifically designed tools that could measure the impact of assistive technology.
- 200 parents and guardians of children receiving MiracleFeet treatment in Nigeria and Liberia were surveyed using the Assistive Technology Impact Measurement survey.
- 98% of children who used the MiracleFeet brace as part of their treatment protocol experience improved quality of life. Parents and guardians attributed the improvement to their child’s ability to move, stand, play, and forge positive relationships.
- Parents and guardians of children undergoing Miracle Feet brace treatment are highly satisfied and loyal towards the company, with a Net Promoter Score ® of 88.
The research is also part of GDI Hub’s AT2030 work with WHO and UNICEF to drive global affordability and availability of assistive products through market-shaping, which includes the 26 essential Assistive Product Specifications to guide countries in prioritizing their provision in health systems supply chains. Clubfoot braces have been included in the first ever APS, a global guide for assistive technology to improve the life of millions, which WHO, AT2030, and UNICEF launched in March 2021.
Led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub and funded by UK Aid, AT2030 tests ‘what works’ to improve access to life-changing Assistive Technology (AT) for all; investing £20m over 5 years to support solutions to scale. AT2030 will reach 9 million directly and 6 million more indirectly, driving a lifetime of potential. AT2030 operates in 31 countries globally.
The MiracleFeet Brace
MiracleFeet partners reported the lack of an easy-to-use affordable brace was the single biggest impediment to scaling Ponseti treatment in their countries. Since braces are worn for up to four years after the completion of active treatment, and they are critical to long-term patient outcomes, MiracleFeet knew that scaling clubfoot treatment in low- and middle-income countries required a high-quality, low-cost solution.
Partnering with Stanford d.school, in 2013 we set out to design a brace that would be affordable, easy to use, and durable. Costing less than $20 to produce, the FDA-registered, patented MiracleFeet brace comes with all the functionality of $350-$1,000 braces used in the U.S. Children in 36 countries have used the brace since we started producing it with Suncast, Clark’s Shoes, and Fortune Footwear. In 2021, a prototype of a sensor to track and promote proper brace usage won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award.