Exoskeleton allows longer rehab sessions with paralyzed patients | Aerospace company designs new prosthetic knee | Student builds his own prosthetic hand
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July 22, 2014
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AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

Top Story
Exoskeleton allows longer rehab sessions with paralyzed patients
Reeves Rehabilitation Center at University Health System in San Antonio is the only south Texas facility to use the Ekso exoskeleton. Paralyzed patients like Pedro Lozano have regained confidence using the device, and he is making progress in his regular therapy, according to his wife, Anita. The exoskeleton can be tailored to fit the needs of each patient and enables people to undergo more rehabilitation because they do not become as fatigued, said Amit Mehta, director of ambulatory therapy services. San Antonio Magazine (8/2014)
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Science and Technology
Aerospace company designs new prosthetic knee
A prosthetic knee that employs the acceleration of gravity as a vertical reference enables users to rise from sitting, climb stairs and walk using technology similar to how autopilot in airplanes uses an artificial horizon. "Above-the-knee amputees control the movement of the prosthesis using their own sensation of verticality and without providing a lot of effort," noted a jury of French scientists in awarding the 2014 e-health Grand Prize to Millinav, the French aerospace company that designed the artificial knee. The device uses micro-gyroscopes and a microprocessor to determine the position of the prosthesis and a rare-earth electric motor to power it. EMDT.co.uk (U.K.) (7/22)
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Student builds his own prosthetic hand
Using 3D printing and parts he obtained from a hardware store, Jordan Nickerson, a student at Portland Community College in Oregon, built his own prosthetic hand. Nickerson, who was born without a left hand, hopes to form a company to sell his low-cost prostheses once he perfects the design. KGW-TV (Portland, Ore.) (7/19)
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Medical News
Review supports low-carb diet as primary diabetes intervention
A critical review published in Nutrition Journal recommends a low-carb diet as the primary intervention in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The analysis also contests the use of total and LDL cholesterol measurement in evaluating cardiovascular health in patients as other factors appeared to be stronger markers. Diabetes.co.uk (U.K.) (7/18)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Uninsured numbers drop after ACA open enrollment
A study by the Commonwealth Fund found that the number of uninsured patients 19-64 years old dropped from 20% in July-September 2013 to 15% in April-June 2014, following the first open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. Of newly insured patients, 60% used their coverage to obtain medical care or fill a prescription. Family Practice News (7/21)
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Trend Watch
High-school student competes on blade prostheses
High-school student Micaela Tucker was born without a left leg, and had her right leg amputated last year as the result of femur hemobilia. In October, she received two carbon fiber running blades from Amputee Blade Runners and agreed to compete in two competitions for athletes with disabilities. The competitions allowed her to not stand out among the competitors and meet other athletes with disabilities. "The whole experience has boosted her confidence a lot," said her mother, Leisa English. The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.) (tiered subscription model) (7/20)
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Amputee golfer takes on the pros
Above-knee amputee Chad Pfeifer played against celebrities and professional golfers in the American Century Championship last week, entering the final round in second place and finishing in a tie for fifth place. Pfeifer, a retired Army corporal who lost his leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq, was new to the game, but found golf to be a kind of therapy. “[G]olf got me outside, it got me walking around on different terrains, walking uphill, downhill, so it was great practice as far as getting used to the prosthetic," he said. KTVB-TV (Boise, Idaho) (7/21)
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Other News
AOPA News
Breaking news from AOPA
The time is now to voice your position and send your comments to the CMS regarding prior authorization before the July 28 deadline -- send your comments now!  #MobilitySaves is trending -- get social and spread the word about the valuable benefits of O&P care!  New Dobson-DaVanzo Study shows that people with limb loss treated in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and units had better long-term clinical outcomes than those treated in nursing homes -- read the report today!  Calling all business managers: Grow your practice revenue with executive-level O&P education at the 2014 AOPA National Assembly -- register today! All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Aug. 13: AFO/KAFO Policy: Understanding the Rules, Webinar conference  Learn more or register online.
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more.
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SmartQuote
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
-- John F. Kennedy,
35th U.S. president
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