Houston exoskeleton uses EEG cap for mind-controlled walking | Honda exoskeleton in clinical trial | Paraplegic demonstrates bionic exoskeleton
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November 21, 2013
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Houston exoskeleton uses EEG cap for mind-controlled walking
Researchers at the University of Houston are using electroencephalography to let paralyzed patients control the Rex Bionics exoskeleton with their thoughts. The NeuroRex features noninvasive electrodes that identify brain patterns connected to specific commands and communicate that information to a computer, which sends instructions to the exoskeleton. NeuroRex has been tested on two patients with spinal cord injuries and will begin clinical trials with as many as 25 in January. PopularMechanics.com (11/13), CNET (11/21)
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Science and Technology
Honda exoskeleton in clinical trial
A large-scale clinical study is underway for Honda's Walking Assist Device. The battery-powered exoskeleton operates and responds to patients' hip angles as indicated by sensors in what Honda describes as "cooperative control technology," similar to that used in the company's ASIMO humanoid robot. MassDevice.com (Boston) (11/20)
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Paraplegic demonstrates bionic exoskeleton
Architect Robert Woo, paralyzed in a 2007 accident, demonstrated the ReWalk exoskeleton at a New York TV station. The device employs motion sensors that detect when the user leans forward and begins moving. Woo was one of seven people who used the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton to walk a mile Monday in Manhattan’s Riverside Park to raise money for the Bronx Veterans Medical Research Foundation. WPIX-TV (New York City) (11/19), FoxNews.com (11/18)
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Medical News
Study: Amputation rates for PAD similar despite costly treatments
The rates of amputations for individuals with severe peripheral artery disease remained comparable despite some patients receiving more costly treatments such as revascularization, according to a study of 18,400 Medicare patients published in the journal JAMA Surgery. There is "little evidence to suggest that more expensive vascular care offers a marginal advantage over less expensive vascular interventions," the study concluded. Other experts, however, suggested that more rigorous trials are needed to look at a broader patient population and take co-existing illnesses into account. HealthDay News (11/20)
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Wound specialists discuss treatment of dry, gangrenous foot wounds
Many specialists treat dry, gangrenous foot wounds with antiseptic or an antimicrobial contact layer to prevent bacterial colonization, but a dry dressing and pressure offloading may be sufficient in the absence of drainage, says podiatrist James McGuire. Odorous wounds signal bacterial colonization and necrotic tissue accumulation, and should be surgically debrided, cleansed daily with a hypochlorous acid wash and dressed with a hydrophobic contact layer, McGuire says. Podiatry Today magazine (11/2013)
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Canadian company moves ahead with biologic skin graft
Canada-based DeCell Technologies announced plans to use an equity investment of approximately $239,000 to finish development and human testing of a product based on donated human skin that can treat diabetic foot ulcers, chronic wounds, burns and surgical wounds. When applied to wounds, the biological dressing promotes tissue regeneration. Metro (Canada)/The Canadian Press (11/13)
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Diabetes remission rates higher in weight-loss surgery patients, study finds
Data presented at the Obesity Week conference showed 60% of type 2 diabetes patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery were in remission at one year, compared with only 6% of patients receiving intensive medical/lifestyle intervention. Researchers also found the patients' total weight loss at one year was 25.8% in the surgery group and only 6.4% in the nonsurgery arm. MedPage Today (free registration) (11/19)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Obama meets with state insurance commissioners
President Barack Obama met with representatives of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on Wednesday in search of ideas that would improve implementation of the Affordable Care Act. "States have different populations with unique needs, and it is up to the insurance commissioner and health insurance companies to decide which insurance products can be offered to existing customers next year," the White House said in a statement. United Press International (11/20)
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Business and Finance
VA awards prosthetic inventory management contract to CCSi
A six-month Veterans Affairs contract to manage procurement and inventory of prostheses was awarded to Creative Computing Solutions, part of an effort to prevent shortages of the devices, according to the company. CCSi also plans to work with two electronic systems, Prosthetics VistA Suite and Prosthetics Inventory Package, to enhance interoperability. ExecutiveBiz.com (11/18)
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How to get lenders to give your business a chance
If you are interested in taking out a loan to grow your business, there are certain things you can do to improve the odds that you will be successful in your quest to secure funding, writes Ty Kiisel. You can reassure potential lenders by creating a formal plan for how you will use the money and what you will do if things don't work out as you expect. It's also critical to carefully consider your hiring decisions and to make sure your business' financial affairs are in order. Forbes (11/19)
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AOPA News
Breaking news from AOPA
Survive and thrive in O&P business with new industry education -- check it out! Jurisdiction B DME MAC reports declining error rate in prepayment reviews -- get the scoop! AOPA releases a letter from CMS Director Laurence Wilson pertaining to the announcement of new HCPCS codes and the removal of 26 codes slated for the OTS list/exploding of codes treatment! Speaking of codes, mark your calendars -- the popular AOPAversity December audio conference on new codes for 2014 is coming -- don't miss it! Become an exhibitor at the 2014 AOPA National Assembly -- the place to be! All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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