Human-like robotic hands remain elusive | High-tech prostheses create opportunities for athletes | Gauze infused with N-halamine might prevent wound infections
May 25, 2017
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession
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Top Story
Human-like robotic hands remain elusive
Scientists and engineers are using advanced fabrication techniques and state-of-the-art sensors to create responsive prosthetic arms and hands, but a lack of sensory feedback capabilities and underpowered electromagnetic actuators remain limiting factors, says roboticist Jason Wheeler. Robotics startup Syntouch has created software for reflexive subroutines that work with tactile sensors to control aspects of grip and have put them in prosthetic hands being tested by veterans.
Engadget (5/23) 
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Science and Technology
High-tech prostheses create opportunities for athletes
Twenty-seven-year-old Nick Pryor lost his leg when he was 4 years old, and his lifetime experience with prostheses and athletics has mirrored the evolution in materials and technology opening up new opportunities for amputee athletes today. Prosthetist Owen Larson from Artificial Limb Specialists in Mesa, Ariz., says although newer sport-specific models offer more advantages, they give little warning when they are about to break.
Cronkite News Service (Arizona State University)/Ariz. PBS (5/18) 
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Medical News
Gauze infused with N-halamine might prevent wound infections
Auburn University Professor Emeritus Dave Worley and his colleagues have developed a bandage that resists staphylococcus bacteria and other microbes. Standard gauze bandages are infused with an alcohol solution containing an N-halamine compound that remains on the gauze and kills bacteria after the alcohol evaporates.
AL (Alabama) (5/23) 
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Group seeks to raise awareness of PAD
People with diabetes are at high risk of amputation because of peripheral artery disease, which can be identified through the ankle-brachial index test and treated with stents to open blocked arteries. A national campaign is underway to draw attention to PAD and encourage people at risk to be screened.
WFAA-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (5/23) 
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Legislative and Regulatory
Trump budget preserves Medicare, Social Security but cuts poverty programs
President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget calls for significant cuts to programs that benefit the poor including a 17% reduction in Medicaid funding, a 20% reduction in Children's Health Insurance Program funding, and a 29% reduction in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding. While the budget doesn't call for reductions in Medicare or the retirement benefits provided by Social Security, it would cut benefits paid by Social Security Disability Insurance and eliminate cost-of-living adjustments paid under the federal government's retirement system.
Bloomberg (5/23),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (5/22) 
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Trend Watch
Paralympian to compete in NCAA track
Hunter Woodhall, who was born with fibular hemimelia and had both legs amputated when he was 11 months old, will run track for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks next year. Woodhall won two medals at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games and is a five-time champion in his home state of Utah.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) (free registration) (5/19) 
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Below-knee amputee joins troupe in Las Vegas stage show
Four days after auditioning for the gravity-defying Las Vegas stage show Le Reve, Andrew Montgomery was in a motorcycle accident and lost his leg below the knee. The casting director was willing to give Montgomery another audition, and he now performs twice a night, five nights a week.
NBC News (5/16) 
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Business and Finance
Ottobock seeks investors to spur innovation
Buyout group EQT and investor CVC are the leading candidates to take a 20% stake in artificial-limb maker Ottobock in preparation for a public offering, according to people familiar with the matter. Germany-based Ottobock is seeking the additional funding to accelerate development of advanced bionic devices, prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces.
Reuters (5/23) 
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Mastering the numbers behind your business
Mastering the numbers behind your business
(Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)
Analyzing financial information is a critical component of assessing your business' performance. Matthew Frankel explains how to calculate key ratios -- including inventory turnover and profit margin on sales -- and gain insight into your business.
The Motley Fool (5/22) 
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