Scientists at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory developed a material and method to create shock-absorbing prosthetic skin that could have applications in creating more comfortable prosthetic sockets. At Georgia Tech's Healthcare Robotics Lab, researchers are creating tactile sensing skin with force sensors that could be used on a prosthesis.
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Among the systems featured at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a low-cost prosthetic hand developed by Massachusetts startup BrainRobotics. The French startup Japet displayed the Atlas exoskeleton, designed to take pressure off the vertebral column for individuals with chronic back pain.
British neuroendocrinologist Andrew Levy invented a hand-held vibrating device that can help doctors evaluate diabetic neuropathy. The Vibratip detected nerve damage among 60 diabetes patients 77% of the time, compared with 60% when a tuning fork was used, according to research conducted last year by the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Romania.
More than 30% of patients undergoing transmetatarsal amputation face an above-ankle amputation -- including above-knee surgeries -- within five years, and another 30% will undergo a re-amputation below the ankle, according to a review in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery. The survey of 1,200 TMA patients did not find a single consistent factor for the re-amputations.
Severely obese teens who underwent gastric bypass had an average 30% weight reduction eight years after surgery, with rates of those having diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol declining significantly, but 78% and 16% had deficiencies in vitamins D and B12, respectively, according to a US study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. A Swedish study in the same journal showed that teens and adults who had the surgery had a 28% five-year average weight reduction.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Republican lawmakers intend to write legislation this year to replace the Affordable Care Act, responding to concerns that the law would be repealed without a clear alternative. Congressional Republicans have not been clear on whether any replacement would cover everyone currently covered through ACA exchanges, but Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, reiterated his campaign promises, stating, "We don't want anyone who currently has insurance to not have insurance."
Independence Prosthetics and Orthotics in Delaware has helped the BADER Consortium study prosthetic rehabilitation therapies and works with the University of Delaware's engineering department on new socket technologies.
Disabled veterans are skating, skiing and snowboarding this week at the annual New England Winter Sports Clinic in New Hampshire. "It's important on several levels: one, to be with other veterans -- other combat-disabled veterans -- and also for the fitness and health and wellness," said participant Shannon Blake.