The prosthetic company Ottobock hosted a meeting in Berlin, Germany, in February 2016 to start a worldwide initiative. The group now consists of 16 independent international experts consisting of 15 therapists (4 physical and 11 occupational therapists) and 1 prosthetist, from different parts of the world. The clinicians are all either independent practitioners or working with a company and specialized in upper limb absence rehabilitation, either in clinical or research settings. Discussions were facilitated by an independent moderator. Decisions were made based on voting and consensus agreements.
The international consortium of expert clinicians were united in the vision to provide the most holistic rehabilitation approach for every person with upper limb loss or upper limb difference, now and in the future. Based on this agreement the “handsmart group” was formed and further discussions took place.
The vision was reinforced by the mission which is to support and empower clinicians and patients worldwide by creating and updating an open access, easily understandable resource based on evidence, for those engaged in upper limb loss/difference rehabilitation. The consortium formed working groups to address our main objective, which is to provide an online platform for networking, sharing information, communicating and accessing resources for supporting clinical practice internationally.