$8M grant awarded for development of exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk | Canadian O&P tech pays tribute to Terry Fox | Colo. student builds low-cost prosthesis
September 19, 2017
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession
Top Story
$8M grant awarded for development of exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk
A partnership of three California universities has been awarded an $8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an exoskeleton device that can help paraplegics walk. The University of Southern California, the University of California at Irvine and the California Institute of Technology are collaborating on the device that would allow the exoskeleton to communicate with the brain, giving paraplegics the ability to walk and feel sensation in their lower bodies.
Los Angeles Business Journal (free registration) (9/14) 
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Naked Prosthetics design and manufacture custom finger prostheses.
Our newest device, the MCPDriver is a robust and intuitive digit prosthesis for individuals who have an amputation(s) proximal to the PIP joint. The prosthesis is uniquely designed to suit the patient's affected finger, enabling them to quickly return to a demanding lifestyle. Learn More.
Science and Technology
Canadian O&P tech pays tribute to Terry Fox
Paul Hoar, a Canadian orthotic and prosthetic technician, built a replica of the artificial leg worn by Terry Fox, whose Marathon of Hope run in 1980 spurred greater attention to cancer research and helped usher in a new era in the development of prosthetic limbs. A local hospital in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, displays the Fox replica, which took Hoar two months to build, beside a modern prosthetic leg.
CTV.ca (Canada) (9/16) 
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Colo. student builds low-cost prosthesis
Peter Armstrong of the University of Colorado is developing a lower-cost prosthetic leg that features prefabricated sockets in varying sizes and foam to fill in gaps for an improved fit. Armstrong's Go Prosthetic system earned him a finalist spot in the National Geographic Chasing Genius Challenge; the winner receives a $25,000 grant.
KDVR-TV (Denver) (9/14) 
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Naked Prosthetics Thumb Prototype yielding great results
As a woodworker, Joe relies on his hand to assist with holding tools and materials. Since wearing his prosthesis, Joe's grip strength has increased; he's able to cut his food, and has an overall better grasp on objects. Joe wears the device every day, for nearly every activity without discomfort or fatigue. Scheduled to release Winter '17.
Medical News
Irish researchers receive grant for foot ulcer-healing device
The UK-based AMBER Centre and Royal College of Surgeons received a grant of about $1.56 million from the European Research Council to develop a device that will help heal diabetic foot ulcers. The BONDS: Bilayered ON-Demand Scaffolds device is made of spongelike material to deliver DNA that can promote cell growth and wound healing.
Silicon Republic (Ireland) (9/18) 
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Bacteria-killing fabric could prevent foot ulcers
A cotton fiber developed by an Israeli firm incorporates copper-oxide particles that kill bacteria and viruses on contact. The fabric is being tested for a number of applications, including socks to prevent diabetic foot ulcers and textiles to reduce hospital-acquired infections.
Israel21c (9/18) 
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Study links salt consumption to increased diabetes risk
Study links salt consumption to increased diabetes risk
People who consumed 1.25 teaspoons or more of salt per day had a 72% higher risk of type 2 diabetes than those who had the lowest intake level, according to research presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting. Higher salt intake also was linked to a higher risk of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults.
HealthDay News (9/14) 
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Legislative and Regulatory
CBO: Fewer people than previously forecast to enroll in ACA in 2018
The Congressional Budget Office projects the monthly enrollment on Affordable Care Act exchanges will average 11 million people in 2018, compared with an earlier forecast of about 15 million. The CBO cites factors including higher health insurance premiums and a reduction in ACA advertising spending as reasons for the expected decline.
Reuters (9/14) 
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Health care attorney advises how providers can become HIPAA-compliant
Health care organizations should not assume that general insurance will cover cybersecurity incidents and should seek legal help when reviewing their risk assessment processes, says Matt Fisher, a partner with Mirick O'Connell. Fisher also advised providers to have a plan to ensure their social media communications are HIPAA-compliant, to understand that a software product cannot be "HIPAA-certified" and to carefully read business associate agreements, considering both state and federal laws, before signing them.
Healthcare IT News (9/13) 
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Trend Watch
Paralympics, Invictus games inspire amputees
High-profile events such as the Paralympics and the Invictus Games, coupled with advances in prosthetic technology, have encouraged a generation of amputees to seek out opportunities for recreational activities and sports, writes Steven Dilkas, co-chief medical officer for the Invictus Games Toronto 2017. Although overcoming barriers to physical activity is a continuing challenge, an estimated 11% to 61% of lower-limb amputees take part in sports or physical activities, he said.
The Toronto Star (9/18) 
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London Fashion Week includes models with disabilities
The British fashion design team of Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones featured one model with a prosthetic leg and another with one arm in their runway show during London Fashion Week.
The Daily Mail (London) (9/15) 
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Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Helen Keller,
writer and activist
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