Market Research on the Viability of 3D Printing Prosthetics in Kenya and Uganda

Villgro Africa was engaged to conduct market research for better understanding of the Prosthetics and Orthotics market (P&O market) in the East African region, with specific focus on the Kenyan and Ugandan markets and the viability of 3D printing prosthetics. The client was developing a system/process that enables rapid design, production and fitting of prosthetic limbs and orthotics using proprietary software and 3D printing technology. The market research focused on (1) identifying the process that patients take to access care when requiring prosthesis and orthosis, (2) interviewing key market experts to assess the product’s potential, (3) an analysis of the market positioning of the technology, (4) conducting a market survey with the current market distributors, (5) identifying and defining the regulatory obligations, (6) providing recommendations for a broader market strategy for future expansion.

To begin, we identified key stakeholders and sought to understand the current technologies and capacity in relation to service delivery. This was done through a mix of desk research and literature review of previous research prepared by the client. This helped us identify outstanding questions and potential opportunities to explore in depth during consultations. We followed this up with  a deep-dive meeting with the client, with the aim of identifying key information gaps in order to refine our research questions and data collection approach. 

We then conducted over 15 consultations with key players in the sector, across the value chain including P&O technicians, P&O patients, government officials, and nonprofit organisations, with the aim of answering some of our outstanding questions and to assess the product’s market potential. From the consultations, we gathered information on (1) the current state of the P&O market in Kenya and Uganda, (2) key players in the P&O market, (3) the current technologies being offered, (4) the current process of service delivery, (5) the regulatory landscape of the P&O market in Kenya and Uganda. From this, we conducted an analysis of the gap that exists in the market and compared it with the client's digital toolchain to assess its competitive advantage and position within the market. 

Our work built up to a report providing an overview of the key players, the product’s fit in the value chain, market trends and opportunities. We then facilitated a workshop where we presented our findings and discussed key opportunities and challenges to the client. We finalised by creating a summarised report based on the feedback provided by the client.