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Movao | a community platform for amputees

Uploaded by RRI Tools on January 27, 2022

Movao is a community platform where amputees and their loved ones can connect locally and globally with like-minded people about similar interests and challenges

How & why was the plaform created 
About Every year, several hundred thousand Europeans lose an arm, foot or leg due to accidents or circulatory disorders caused by diabetes or smoking. The loss of a leg or arm is often a sudden and massive shock in the life of the person affected and for their loved ones, and it’s a crisis for which nobody is prepared. 
The desire to get back to an active and autonomous life is strong. People want to live their lives as smoothly as possible, spend time with their partners, families and friends, go on holiday, travel, practice sports and work. But doing these everyday activities can be challenging. For example, people who use a prosthetic hand have to relearn activities such as blowdrying their hair. And close contacts also have to cope with the change. Frequently, the loss of a limb causes psychological problems, such as depression. 
In such a situation, it takes more than anonymous information and written advice. What really helps is not being alone and having a personal exchange with people who have faced and overcome the same challenges. There are self-help groups on the internet and on social networks, but the information there is very diverse and can be confusing. Additionally, limb loss is a very sensitive topic and group members can find that they are discriminated against or even sexually harassed. Protection of sensitive and personal data is therefore key. These are very personal topics. What’s needed is a community platform that enables direct exchange between parties, but that guarantees trust, security and privacy.
As part of the LIVING INNOVATION project, one of the project partners, Ottobock, a company that is leader in the development and manufacture of prostheses, addressed this problem. The starting point was to understand how amputees can be supported in their everyday lives, far beyond the design and creation of the prosthesis itself. From a Responsible Innovation perspective, this is particularly interesting, as the focus is not on the design of a new technology or a new product, but on the consistent focus on user needs.
In a first step, 3 co-creation workshops were organised in the Netherlands in 2020, where Ottobock employees and prosthetics users talked in detail about their lives. With empathy and understanding, three insights were drawn 
  1. Amputation is overwhelming, especially when it happens suddenly because of an accident, but also when it has already become apparent due to diabetes. Information available on the internet is usually too confusing. What is needed is good starter information, tips on living with an amputation and a single contact point where all relevant information is available in a compact form
  2. Often the quality of the information is unclear. As goes for everywhere on the internet, it’s all too easy to find false, incomplete, highly simplified or biased information. Verified and trustworthy information is what is required.
  3. But information alone is often not enough. In many cases, people can feel somewhat abandoned, and perhaps their family is also overwhelmed by the new situation. Therefore, contact with people that have already experienced and mastered this situation is essential. Unfortunately, this openness can be abused, as fake identities can easily be created on the internet.
Based on the findings of these workshops and Ottobock's experience with its users, they developed Movao - a community platform for people with arm and foot prostheses. It was designed as a modular system that can be easily expanded. The pilot was tested by approximately 20 prosthesis users and improved based on their feedback.
In the next step, the platform was translated into several languages and rolled out globally, giving people from all over the world a central hub with compact information on everyday life with protheses, and a place to exchange information with other affected people
As for today the platform has more than 350 active users and is growing globally
Movao is also available in form of an app 
English, Deutsch, Dutch, German, French
Movao is a community platform for people with arm and foot prostheses. It was designed as a modular system that can be easily expanded
Its key features are: 
  • Users and their loved ones can request to join the community and will be checked and approved by a community manager who also monitors the platform to prevent abuse. 
  • A live feed, similar to other social media platforms, facilitates exchange of experiences, problems and possible solutions in daily life with a prosthesis.
  • There is a section with compact, relevant information. It is important that this information is quality assured and manufacturer-neutral.
  • There are personal stories written about life with an amputation..
  • A member area enables users to search for others with similar life situations or interests. There’s an interactive map which allows users to look for others in their region or city. In this way, the platform contributes to direct networking. 
  • The platform is complemented by a discussion forum and an event overview.
Movao will continue to develop additional features, as well as online and offline programmes creating a space where people can come together and support each other.
As for today the platform has more than 350 active users and is growing globally

Ottobock's Movao Platform is interesting for people beyond the company and the community of people who wear prostheses - especially from the point of view of responsible innovation. It shows perfectly how the focus can be expanded from the product to the underlying need, the entire everyday lives of those affected and their difficult situations. 

In the health care sector, patient empowerment is increasingly important – giving targeted support to patients so they can make more informed and better decisions about their lives. Movao aligns with this increasing trend, and it’s also a good example of the participatory aspect of Responsible Innovation, which is about innovating with the people and for the people.


From 01/05/2021 to present
Developed by Ottobok - as part of the LIVING INNOVATION co-creation labs

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