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Last decennia the international market of components of external prostheses and complete orthoses has been moving towards a real open economy. This development is driven by technological development - that is linked mainly to industrial components and complete products. However the local and national markets are less moving due to the position of local orthopaedic suppliers driven by topical issues, such as customised production and service, national and regional social and reimbursement policy, social and healthcare regulations, multidisciplinary teamwork. In all these influencing factors language, professional preferences, local history and tradition are dominant.

What is behind the international harmonisation of the trade and industry:

The Nomenclature© is a classification-based collection of descriptions of prosthetic and orthotic devices based on its functionality, incorporating international agreed classifications.

Classification based means that all descriptions are connected together with a classification based on the functionality of the described types of prostheses and orthoses. Functionality is defined as what the product does for the user, the so-called intended use of the product.

Main international classifications in the Nomenclature, are:

The Nomenclature includes descriptions of types of prostheses and orthoses and its functionality for the user. Components of prostheses and sometimes also orthoses are listed as far as the components have a main intended use to influence the activities of what the person can do with the prostheses or orthosis. For example for lower limb prostheses the functional components and the user interfaces are in the classification independently from the complete prostheses.

As specified only types of prostheses and orthoses are described in the Nomenclature and not all commercial products as put on the market by individual manufacturers with different brand or product names. Brand names are not mentioned and avoided to mention. The descriptions are focussing at a higher level, the level that stands for a identifiable and particular product type seen from the user's perceptive. The descriptions include variants and different commercial versions coming from different companies and commercial sources.

The descriptions include a variety of data, presented in a record structure over a number of fields, including data on the product and its variants, sometimes drawings, the intended user and intended use, classification codes, product related services, etc.

The Nomenclature© is not a static product. The way the product types are described is time-related. Also completion of the Nomenclature is necessary due to new needs from the target group, market changes and technological developments and innovation. That makes that the INTERBOR Nomenclature© is a living tool, which is permanently in development and updated.

The Nomenclature© contains information for all disciplines and target groups active in the field of prostheses and orthoses. Relevant disciplines are medical doctors/physicians, therapists, prosthetists and orthotists as well as other technicians, staff at health care insurance companies and other institutions responsible for the payment of the products, policy makers and national and regional level and of course user groups.

The Nomenclature© can be used for:

The Nomenclature© has been developed by a Working Group of experts nominated by the Board of INTERBOR. The members of the Working Group were nominated on personal title by the Board. An external consultant was contracted for the co-ordination of the work.

Experts from ISO TC168/WG1 and WG2 have contributed to the correct use of ISO-standards in the Nomenclature©.

In the framework of the development, the members of the INTERBOR working group contributed to the work:

Co-ordinator and editor

Theo Bougie, The Netherlands, MSc, ME

Members of the working group at 1 January 2010