Prosthetic hand's shape-memory "smart wires" boost functionality | Magazine picks 4 prosthetics pioneers in list of top 8 innovators | Florida woman will be first female to wear bionic arm prosthesis
July 23, 2015
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Prosthetic hand's shape-memory "smart wires" boost functionality
Researchers at Germany's Saarland University have created a lightweight prosthetic hand that uses shape-memory alloy wires to give the hand functionality. The prosthesis requires a single semiconductor chip to control the smart wires. "We can monitor the position of the finger without adding any other sensor, only exploiting this embedded feature of the wire," said doctoral student Filomena Simone, a co-creator of the hand. Reuters (7/22)
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Science and Technology
Magazine picks 4 prosthetics pioneers in list of top 8 innovators
Business Insider recently named its picks for the top eight tech and engineering innovators, including four who work in prosthetics. The list includes Hugh Herr, founder of BiOM, who pioneered the development of bionic limbs; Bertolt Meyer, a hand amputee who hosted "The Incredible Bionic Man" documentary; John Donoghue, who is leading BrainGate2 and has researched brain-controlled prostheses; and Stewart Coulter, the engineering manager at DEKA Research & Development who helped develop the company's "Luke" arm. Business Insider (7/22)
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Florida woman will be first female to wear bionic arm prosthesis
Florida's Lizbeth Uzcategui, who was born missing her right forearm and hand, is the first female recipient of Touch Bionics' i-limb quantum, a programmable arm prosthesis. The advanced prosthesis comes in several sizes to fit women, men and children. CBS News (7/22)
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Thinking Outside the Box
To stay relevant, companies need to spend as much time generating ideas for the future as they do running their businesses today. Read Boomtown: Think Like a Startup

Medical News
Expert: Wound care is high stakes
Wound care often flies under the radar for most people, until they're faced with a wound that won't heal, says James Calder, director of S.O.A.R. at Wound Care Advantage. Education and awareness is a vital first step to avoiding delayed care and poor outcomes, he writes. (7/17)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Bill would allow patients to pay for devices
The Accelerating Innovation in Medicine Act -- proposed by four U.S. senators -- would allow people to pay for medical devices themselves rather than going through Medicare. Proponents say products approved by the FDA could become more accessible. Health Data Management (7/22)
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Rural DME providers detail negative effect of "excessive" audits
Rural Montana stakeholders told a Small Business Administration roundtable on Tuesday how CMS' "unreasonable and excessive audits" are hurting their businesses. "Audits are holding up revenue, for multiple years in most cases, that is crucial to the survival of rural providers," said Andrew Jeske, CEO of American Seating & Mobility. HME News (7/22)
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Auditors: Medicare needs better screening of health care professionals
A report from the Government Accountability Office found that Medicare did not catch thousands of questionable addresses submitted by medical professionals, and allowed enrollment for dozens who faced disciplinary action by state boards. The report to Congress said using an invalid address was "an indicator of potential fraud." The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (7/21), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (7/21)
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Trend Watch
Bangladesh center opens artificial limb clinical training program
Bangladesh currently has only 25 clinicians who are internationally certified to fit and fabricate prostheses, but a country of that size needs at least 1,100 professionals. The Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed, located in the capital of Dhaka, launched a three-year training program in 2014 with 10 students. Another 10 begin their training this year. National Public Radio (7/23)
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Entrepreneur sees market for insoles with embedded technology
Kegan Schouwenburg, co-founder of SOLS, a manufacturer of 3D-printed orthotic insoles, sees the potential for insoles as wearable technology that can give gait and other valuable information back to the wearer. Her company will be pursuing the idea of incorporating sensors into insoles. Entrepreneur online (7/22)
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Business and Finance
Scott Ranson joins Hanger as CIO
Hanger has hired Scott Ranson as its new chief information officer. Ranson replaces Walt Meffert, who held the position for five years before leaving the company. American City Business Journals/Austin, Texas (7/21)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Update on AOPA actions for DME MAC LCD draft policy -- count on AOPA to keep you in the know. BCP Group and Beacon Prosthetics and Orthotic announce partnership. Attend the 2015 AOPA Assembly in San Antonio -- it's closer than you think! Support AOPA's government relations efforts at the Wine Auction. Don't miss these stories and more in the latest AOPA Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
Aug. 12: OTS vs. Custom Fit: The True Story Learn more and register online
Sept. 9: Prior Authorization, How Does It Work? webinar conference Learn more or register online
Oct. 7-10:
AOPA 2015 National Assembly Learn more or register online.
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-- Thomas Watson,
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