Military testing IMES system for bionic hand | Touch Bionics adds Bluetooth for increased control | Ill. amputee learning to use mind-controlled prosthesis
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June 17, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Military testing IMES system for bionic hand
At Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, researchers are testing a new prosthetic hand that, instead of using surface electrodes on the skin, employs an implantable myoelectric sensor system directly into the muscles to give the wearer greater control. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ramon Padilla Munguia, the second person worldwide to test the technology, can now bend and move his new bionic hand and fingers in different ways and has been able to learn how to play golf. KLAS-TV (Las Vegas)/Ivanhoe Newswire (6/13)
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Science and Technology
Touch Bionics adds Bluetooth for increased control
Scotland-based Touch Bionics introduced a Bluetooth-enabled "grip chip" that enables users to assign a specific grip to an object and perform a greater variety of actions with their i-limb prostheses. Users can put the grip chips in different locations around the home or workplace where those grips are used, allowing them to transition easily and automatically to those hand positions. The company also recently unveiled a new artificial skin, called i-limb skin active TS, specifically designed for touch-screen devices. (U.K.) (6/13)
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Ill. amputee learning to use mind-controlled prosthesis
Aaron Withers of Glenarm, Ill., has become the first person in the U.S. whose private insurance covered targeted muscle reinnervation. The procedure will enable him to use his thoughts to control an advanced prosthetic arm through nerve signals transmitted to the residual limb. The Springfield, Ill., office of Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics fitted Withers with the new arm. The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Ill.) (6/15)
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Medical News
High-quality diabetes care boosts outcomes after limb procedure
A study in the Annals of Vascular Surgery showed high-quality outpatient care was associated with a lower risk of amputation, 30-day readmission and mortality in diabetes patients following limb revascularization. However, participants in the nondiabetes cohort did not exhibit similar outcomes. MedWire News (U.K.) (6/13)
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Study: Islet transplantation aids diabetic neuropathy
A long-term study of 44 subjects found healing effects among people with diabetic neuropathy following islet transplantation, according to David M. Thompson, medical director of the Vancouver Islet Transplant Program in British Columbia. Thompson presented the report at the American Diabetes Association's 74th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco. The study "suggests that islet transplant can actually cause nerves to heal rather than slow their rate of decline,” said Thompson. Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (6/15)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
House bill calls for funding O&P research for veterans
A bill introduced by Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., would fund $30 million in prosthetic and orthotic research studies for veterans. "This much needed legislation would enhance orthotic and prosthetic research, helping practitioners better match prosthetic and orthotic devices with veteran amputees," he said. Dick Durbin, D.-Ill., proposed similar legislation in the Senate. The Hill/Floor Action blog (6/16)
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Trend Watch
Japanese photographer creates book of women wearing prostheses
A new book by Japanese photographer Takao Ochi called "Setsudan Venus" ("Amputated Venus") features pictures of 11 women -- models, athletes and business employees -- with prosthetic legs. All are patients of prosthetist Fumio Usui, who makes artificial limbs for Paralympic athletes and other competitors. "The models all feel very comfortable and proud of their prosthetic legs. That positive attitude changes how others view those women," said Ochi. The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) (6/17)
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Breaking news from AOPA
AOPA is at Energy Level 2,300! Join 2,300+ top professionals at the Las Vegas Assembly! ABC's new Patient Care Accreditation Guide is now available -- check it out! Read the June 2014 O&P Almanac for your business CEs and up-to-date information on maximizing profitability -- your connection to everything O&P! The Amputee Coalition is awarded the 2014 Apex Award of Excellence, and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is hosting a Live Interactive Video Conversation this Thursday -- voice your concerns! All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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