Prosthetic advances lead to personalized care | Study: Exoskeletons improve functional outcomes in spinal cord patients | VA to study exoskeleton system from ReWalk Robotics
February 4, 2016
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Prosthetic advances lead to personalized care
Advances in technology, including 3D printing, microprocessors and advanced sensors, enable wounded service members to receive customized devices that allow them to engage in activities they enjoyed before they were injured, says Peter Liacouras, director of service for the 3D Medical Applications Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. As part of that effort, Walter Reed piloted a 3D-printed leg cover developed by startup UNYQ and defense contractor Medical Center Orthotics & Prosthetics that can endure harsh physical conditions. Forbes (2/2)
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Data Security and HIPAA Compliance in Mid-sized Healthcare Organizations
The 21st century is facing an uphill battle for better data security, and the healthcare industry is at the front lines. Healthcare providers deal with tremendous amounts of sensitive, legally protected data labeled protected health information (PHI), which requires certain security measures as defined by HIPAA. Learn how to ensure that all PHI is handled, transferred and stored properly.

Science and Technology
Study: Exoskeletons improve functional outcomes in spinal cord patients
A limited study published in BMC Neurology found that three patients with spinal cord injuries who completed 20 training sessions with a robotic exoskeleton showed significant improvement in functional outcomes and spatiotemporal measures. The findings support "the use of a wearable robot therapy in the recovery and improvement of mobility," the researchers wrote. HCPLive (2/3)
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VA to study exoskeleton system from ReWalk Robotics
Details of a planned 160-patient, multisite clinical trial of the ReWalk Personal 6.0, an exoskeleton technology developed by ReWalk Robotics to restore self-initiated walking in spinal cord injury patients, have been released by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The study is set to start in October. (Boston) (2/3)
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Prosthetist develops special ski devices
Bilateral below-knee amputee Erik Bowen, who lost his legs to infection in 2014, was fitted for specialized prostheses that attach directly to his ski bindings. The devices, developed by orthotist-prosthetist Chad O'Connor at the Hanger Clinic in Lafayette, Colo., includes an adjustable socket valve that sucks out air to provide a tighter fit. Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) (2/3)
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Medical News
Artificial pancreas beneficial for teens with diabetes, study shows
Teens with type 1 diabetes had significantly lower average blood glucose levels of 8.7 mmol/liter one week after using an artificial pancreas, compared with 10.1 mmol/L when they used separate devices to monitor their blood glucose and pump insulin, according to a study in Diabetes Care. Researchers used a cohort of 12 teens and found they had blood glucose levels within the safe target range 72% of the time with the use of artificial pancreas, compared with 53% of the time when they used separate devices. Reuters (2/3)
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Seaweed-based gel allows room-temperature storage of stem cell-containing dressing
Scientists at Newcastle University have developed bandages impregnated with human stem cells encased in a seaweed-based alginate gel. The bandages can be stored at room temperature for up to three days and easily applied to wounds. E&T magazine online (2/1)
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Vitamin D may not stop prediabetes progression, study says
A study found 40.2% of prediabetes patients who were not vitamin D deficient but took vitamin D supplements for five years went on to develop type 2 diabetes, compared with 43.9% of those who took a placebo. Researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism the data do not support using vitamin D as a preventive measure for type 2 diabetes or to improve insulin resistance or hyperglycemia. Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (2/2)
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Amniotic membrane dressings gaining wider recognition
Dressings made from human amniotic membrane encourage healing in wounds that have been unresponsive to other treatments, according to an article in the British Medical Bulletin. The network of proteins in the membrane encourage healing, says King's College London professor Dusko Ilic, who led the study. Amniotic membrane dressings can also be used to heal burns and epidermolysis bullosa, Ilic said. (2/2)
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Legislative and Regulatory
House fails to override ACA bill veto
House Republican leaders failed to gather enough votes to override President Barack Obama's veto of a bill rolling back key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate will not attempt an override. Reuters (2/2)
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Trend Watch
Ukraine photo exhibition highlights war amputees
A photo exhibition featuring Ukrainian soldiers who lost limbs during the war in eastern Ukraine aims to spur prosthetic development in the country. The exhibition will travel to the US and Canada this year. Kyiv Post (Ukraine) (2/4)
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Jurisdiction A releases pre-payment audit results
The Jurisdiction A DME MAC recently released results of its ongoing widespread pre-payment review of K3 or higher prosthetic limbs and spinal orthoses described by HCPCS codes L0631 and L0637. For more on this story and more, head over to AOPA's Breaking News.
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Register for the Feb. 10 webinar
Register for AOPA's webinar, "SNF Billing: Beyond the Basics (The Ins and Outs)." Reimbursement for skilled nursing facilities is complex. Make sure you know who and how to bill so you can get paid. Register now. Learn more about AOPA's monthly webinar topics.
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The thing that makes you say, 'I want to do something' -- that is the beginning of talent."
-- Stella Adler,
actress and teacher
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