New sensor adjusts socket to accommodate changes in residual limb | AlterG robotic orthosis aids rehab of paralyzed jockey | Mediterranean diet may help reduce diabetes risks and obesity
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October 16, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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New sensor adjusts socket to accommodate changes in residual limb
Jason Wheeler, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a sensor that can detect changes in the shape of an amputee's residual limb and adjust the socket to accommodate those changes throughout the day. The sensor fits in a fluid-filled socket liner and redistributes the fluid to adjust the fit, eliminating time-consuming readjustments of the entire prosthesis. Sandia plans to work with commercial partners to market the sensor. American City Business Journals/Albuquerque, N.M. (10/16)
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Science and Technology
AlterG robotic orthosis aids rehab of paralyzed jockey
A "bionic leg" developed by AlterG has helped 19-year-old jockey Katie Watson recover from a car crash that paralyzed her and get back on a horse. The battery-powered, robotic orthosis is worn over the limb during physiotherapy to improve stability and gait and strengthen the patient's stance. It can sense the patient's movement and assist only when needed. Gloucestershire Echo (U.K.) (10/16)
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Medical News
Mediterranean diet may help reduce diabetes risks and obesity
Participants who followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil attained significant improvements in adiposity and blood glucose levels at nearly five years, while those who followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts exhibited reductions in obesity, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. However, researchers did not observe a difference in metabolic syndrome incidence between the Mediterranean diet groups and the controls who followed a low-fat diet. (10/14)
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Blacks with diabetes show higher leg amputation risk
A report by the Dartmouth Atlas Project revealed black Medicare beneficiaries were up to three times as likely as other patient populations to suffer leg amputation due to diabetes and peripheral arterial disease complications. Researchers also found the rate of leg amputation was up to seven times higher in black patients residing in the rural Southeast compared with other regions. U.S. News & World Report/Data Mine blog (10/14)
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Study suggests fructose may promote obesity, diabetes
Harvard Medical School researchers say fructose may lead to increases in a hormone that regulates fat accumulation and could promote diabetes and obesity. The study in Molecular Metabolism says fructose stimulated the biggest increases in the hormone among obese people, but the response varied, even among those who were not overweight. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Well blog (10/13)
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Legislative and Regulatory
CMS initiative encourages ACOs to support rural, underserved communities
A new accountable care organization initiative was unveiled by the CMS to encourage Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO participants to transition to models that have greater financial risk and to inspire the creation of new ACOs in underserved and rural communities. The ACO Investment Model, which is based on the Advance Payment Model, aims to offer 75 ACOs upfront funds totaling as much as $114 million to help them invest in the infrastructure needed to effectively launch population care management efforts. Healthcare Informatics online (10/15)
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Trend Watch
Dankmeyer P&O celebrates 60 years in business
Dankmeyer Prosthetics and Orthotics in Linthicum, Md., celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. Owner Charles Dankmeyer, who took over from his father in 1994, said the most notable thing he has seen in that time is the change in prostheses, which he says are now "much more adaptable and offer more flexibility and balance." The son of a double leg amputee, Dankmeyer said his company's biggest success is allowing patients to live their lives without being held back by artificial limbs. The Capital (Annapolis, Md.) (10/16)
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Business and Finance
What would a minimum-wage hike mean for small businesses?
The majority of small businesses would be unaffected by an increase to the federal minimum wage, according to a study by The Hartford. In addition, the study says 66% of respondents were in favor of raising the minimum wage. (10/14)
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Tips for taking a vacation from your business
It's important to take truly relaxing time away from work so that you can continue to be as effective as possible, writes small-business adviser Marla Tabaka. But for that to happen, preparation is necessary. Tabaka offers seven tips to keep your business going while you're on vacation. Inc. online (free registration) (10/14)
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Breaking news from AOPA
AOPA announces 2015 webinar topics. Sign up now! OMHA holds the second Medicare appellant forum to explain the ongoing delays in ALJ hearings. Registration is open now. Merger in Canada -- CAPO and CBCPO join forces! Join the Amputee Coalition this weekend in D.C. for "Kicking for Kids Who Can't" to benefit children with limb loss. Losing sleep over investments? We have some possible comfort. All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
Oct. 20-21: Mastering Medicare: Coding & Billing Seminar, St. Louis, Mo. Learn more or register online.
Nov. 12: Gifts: Showing Appreciation without Violating the Law, webinar conference Learn more or register online.
Dec. 10: New Codes & Changes for 2015, webinar conference Learn more and register online.
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Every great dream begins with a dreamer."
-- Harriet Tubman,
American abolitionist
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