Researchers create electronic "skin" that controls robotic arms | Exoskeleton helps veteran walk for first time in 27 years | Wisconsin O&P owners improve prosthetic support devices
January 17, 2019
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession
Top Story
Researchers create electronic "skin" that controls robotic arms
A thin skin with tattoo-like circuits created with a laser printer is shown to help control robotic arms, and the skin functions even when folded or bent. The technology was created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering and the University of Coimbra in Portugal.
O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (1/2019) 
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Science and Technology
Exoskeleton helps veteran walk for first time in 27 years
Paralyzed Air Force veteran Dean Juntunen walked for the first time in 27 years with the help of an exoskeleton that is part of a research project at the Zablocki Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Milwaukee. Juntunen is the first recipient of the 51-pound exoskeleton, but the project is expected to include 160 recipients from 15 VA clinics.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (1/16) 
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Wisconsin O&P owners improve prosthetic support devices
David and Debra Jolly's total elastic suspension system to support transformal prostheses has a diagonal design and is made of neoprene and nylon, making it more comfortable and less likely to roll down. The couple, who own Syncor in Wisconsin, also invented a neoprene sleeve suspension product called Durasleeve for below-the-knee prostheses.
O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (1/2019) 
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Medical News
Study examines cardiorenal risk among CKD, diabetes patients
A study in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation showed no increased risk for cardiorenal syndrome among patients with non-proteinuric diabetes and chronic kidney disease, compared with those with CKD and no diabetes. Researchers analyzed data from four cohort studies involving 40 nephrology clinics in Italy and found an association between the risk of end-stage renal disease and proteinuria level, regardless of diabetes status.
Healio (free registration)/Nephrology News & Issues (1/16) 
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Heart-healthy lifestyle habits may reduce diabetes risk
Following four or more of the American Heart Association's "Life's Simple 7" recommendations, such as having a healthy diet, quitting smoking and getting more exercise, may reduce the risk of diabetes by 80% over 10 years for adults with normal glucose tolerance, according to a study in Diabetologia. Researchers said adults who had impaired fasting glucose did not see a reduction in diabetes risk from following the health goals.
Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (1/16) 
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Research stresses importance of exercise in diabetes
A study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology showed that regular exercise leads to reduced morbidity and mortality risks and improved overall health among patients with type 2 diabetes. "Just advising patients to exercise, which is what doctors typically do, is not enough," said study author and cardiologist Hareld Kemps, calling for patients to be assessed for personal preferences, comorbidities and risks associated with exercise.
United Press International (1/15) 
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Legislative and Regulatory
O&P providers should note coding changes for 2019
Medicare added three updates to coding for orthotic and prosthetic providers for 2019, writes AOPA's Devon Bernard. Another change includes an updated fee schedule for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies, which is estimated at 2.30%.
O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (1/2019) 
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Proposal would expand veterans' access to private-sector health care
Guidelines proposed by the VA would make it easier for veterans to get government-funded health care at civilian hospitals and walk-in clinics. Critics say the move would shift funds away from VA hospitals, but VA Secretary Robert Wilkie disagrees, saying that veterans prefer the VA health system and "want to go places where people speak the language and understand the culture."
The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/12) 
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Trend Watch
More women entering O&P field
More women are entering the orthotics and prosthetics profession, and women accounted for 48% of those registered for orthotic and prosthetic residencies in 2018, according to the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education. AOPA Executive Director Eve Humphreys is one of five women leading O&P organizations.
O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (1/2019) 
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Business and Finance
Government incentives would help small businesses with cybersecurity
With small businesses losing on average about $35,000 a year due to cybersecurity issues and few having the funds to develop sophisticated programs, government incentives would be one way to protect customer data and save money. Such incentives would create a stronger economy overall and would protect businesses relying on outdated firewalls and other shaky safety nets.
Accounting Today (1/16) 
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The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? There is a brotherhood among all men. This must be recognized if life is to remain. We must learn the love of man.
Pablo Casals,
cellist and composer
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