Startup launches first 3D printer for carbon fiber | Smartphones plus 3D printer equals custom shoe orthoses | Bionic hand is life changer for Irishman
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January 30, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Startup launches first 3D printer for carbon fiber
Boston-based company MarkForged has released a 3D printer capable of printing in carbon fiber, which could be used to make strong, lightweight prosthetic devices. The Mark One printer, which sells for about $5,000, can also produce items made of fiberglass, nylon and the thermoplastic PLA, as well as composites of these materials that include layers of carbon fiber to increase strength. The company also plans to build a larger industrial model. Yahoo/The Verge (1/29)
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Science and Technology
Smartphones plus 3D printer equals custom shoe orthoses
New York-based Sols Systems has developed an innovative way of creating customized shoe inserts: using smartphone videos to create models of individual feet and a 3D printer to fabricate the orthoses. The inserts use a new lightweight anti-microbial nylon material. The company hopes to expand to a line of customized helmets, wrist and knee braces, and other orthotic devices. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Venture Capital Dispatch blog (1/27)
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Bionic hand is life changer for Irishman
Stephen Lowry, the first person in Ireland to receive the advanced Bebionic hand, says the device has changed his life. The prosthesis, made by the British company RSLSteeper, responds to electrical impulses from the biceps and triceps. Using the hand's sophisticated software, Lowry can perform such varied activities as using a computer mouse and writing with a pen, and he even has even learned to fly an airplane. BBC (1/27)
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Medical News
Lack of awareness keeps some patients from receiving advanced wound care
Many health care providers and patients are unaware that specialized wound-healing services are available in their communities or do not realize the power that hyperbaric oxygen and other therapies have to heal difficult wounds, says Dr. Andrea Simmons, a wound-care specialist at the Southeastern Wound Healing Center in Lumberton, N.C. As a result, some patients with chronic wounds are put through unnecessary procedures, including amputation, she said. The Fayetteville Observer (N.C.) (1/22)
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Analysis finds association between coffee, reduced diabetes risk
People who drank up to 6 cups of coffee daily had a 33% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those who did not drink coffee, an analysis in Diabetes Care found. Researchers reviewed 28 studies involving more than 1 million people, and they estimated that diabetes risk was 9% lower in those who drank one cup of regular coffee daily and 6% lower in those who consumed one cup of a decaffeinated variety daily. Medscape (free registration) (1/28)
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Spinal cord injuries increasingly common among older adults
Among adults 65 and older, the rate of traumatic spinal cord injuries jumped from 79.4 per million in 2007 to 87.7 per million in 2009, according to a report in the Journal of Neurotrauma. Falls were the most common cause of injury at 41.5%, surpassing motor-vehicle crashes. HealthDay News (1/28), United Press International (1/27)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
ONC certification body discontinues EHR accreditation services
The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology has decided to discontinue its EHR certification and testing services as it plans to start offering counseling services to help providers and vendors meet HIT regulations and EHR accreditation requirements. "With these changes, we can provide a greater level of support and counsel to providers and vendors, something we could not undertake as a government authorized certification body," said CCHIT Executive Director Alisa Ray. Healthcare Informatics online (1/29), Health Data Management (1/29)
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Business and Finance
Ekso Bionics goes public with sale of shares for $20.6M
California-based Ekso Bionics, which develops robotic exoskeletons for the disabled as well as for military and industrial applications, has raised $20.6 million through a reverse merger and alternative public offering that makes the company an Ekso Bionics Holdings unit. (Boston) (1/29)
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Breaking news from AOPA
The two-year delay of ALJ hearings is a violation of your rights -- take a stand with AOPA and contact your representatives today! Earn continuing education credit in the O&P Almanac -- it's easy and free. Read the January issue and take your quiz today! DME MACs acknowledge incorrect PECOS denials, will reprocess affected claims -- get the scoop! AOPA's 2014 Quick Coders are available in the bookstore. With vast changes to the 2014 Medicare codes, don't be left out in the cold -- get yours today! The Capitol Connection thanks AOPA members for their contributions. All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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