3D-printed exoskeleton allows child to use arms | Robotic glove with electrodes counters Parkinson's tremors | 3D solution gives trumpet player a hand
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April 22, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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3D-printed exoskeleton allows child to use arms
Emma Lavelle, 4, who has a neuromuscular condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, can now move her arms and manipulate objects, thanks to an orthosis called the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton. The 3D-printed device, developed at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., uses hinged metal and plastic bars and resistance bands. About 75 children are using it today, according to Tariq Rahman, director for orthopedic research and development at the hospital. People (4/21)
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Science and Technology
Robotic glove with electrodes counters Parkinson's tremors
A robotic glove embedded with special sensors and electrodes has proven effective in reducing the involuntary tremors caused by Parkinson's and similar neurological conditions in a test of 80 patients from 40 to 80 years of age. The exoskeleton, developed by European researchers, uses electrical stimulation to counter involuntary shaking and may offer an alternative to current drug and surgical treatments for some patients. West-Info.eu (Italy) (4/21)
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3D solution gives trumpet player a hand
A young trumpet player in Michigan who lost her left hand is getting a little help with the horn from 3D printing. Engineers from Laser Abilities and Keystone Solutions designed an adapter for Ana Lennen's residual limb that snaps onto the trumpet and allows Lennen to play without having to hold on with just one hand. Engineering.com (4/21)
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User prefers inexpensive 3D-printed hand for many functions
Jose Delgado, who was born without most of his left hand, has praised the functionality of the low-cost, 3D-printed e-NABLE Hand. The e-NABLE hand uses the tension in cords running under and over each finger to trigger clenching and gripping motions. Delgado has praised the hand's gripping ability, especially when it comes to using a steering wheel or holding a bag of groceries. PhysOrg.com (4/22)
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Medical News
Mediterranean diet tied to better diabetes outcomes, review finds
An analysis revealed type 2 diabetes patients who followed a Mediterranean diet took up to eight years before requiring anti-diabetes medications, compared with six years in those who followed a low-fat diet. Diabetes remission was also more prevalent in the Mediterranean diet group than those in the control group, researchers reported in Diabetes Care. Reuters (4/17)
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Researcher: South Asians' diabetes risk needs more attention
Data on U.S. immigrants showed that those of south Asian descent had a diabetes prevalence of 23%, compared with 6% in whites, 18% in blacks, 17% in Latinos and 13% in Chinese Americans. However, traditional risk factors did not appear to explain the heightened prevalence among south Asians, researchers said. "These data support having a heightened clinical suspicion for diabetes screening in South Asians and using proven lifestyle change counseling to help to deter this risk," researcher Dr. Alka Kanaya said. Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (4/21)
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Legislative and Regulatory
AHA asks CMS to implement changes to boost ACO participation
The American Hospital Association is asking the CMS to make participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and Pioneer Accountable Care Organization initiatives easier, as the burden the programs put on providers is not sufficiently offset by the shared savings opportunity offered, the group said. Several changes in the programs have been recommended by the AHA to enhance participation, including creating a standard minimum savings rate of 2% at most and establishing more achieveable early goals. Healthcare Informatics online (4/21)
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Specific ACA enrollment figures remain unclear
The Obama administration said more than 8 million Americans signed up for health insurance through an Affordable Care Act exchange, but the number did not include state-specific statistics, information on how many enrollees were previously uninsured or data on how many new enrollees have paid premiums. A Rand Corp. survey estimated that 7.8 million more Americans had purchased health insurance through a channel other than a public marketplace, and about 500,000 of those enrollees were previously uninsured. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (4/20)
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Trend Watch
Many amputees opt for personalized prostheses
Charles Crone, a prosthetist with Hanger in Fairfax, Va., has personalized prosthetic limbs for his patients with everything from sports-team and school logos to religious symbols and tributes to family members. He airbrushes some designs; others are made of cloth coated in liquid acrylic and embedded into the device. Clients "want to bring comfort for themselves by having something personalized after going through this substantial loss," Crone said. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/22)
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New Zealand developing prosthetic limbs for rugby
Researchers in New Zealand are working with the International Rugby Board to fabricate tough but flexible prosthetic arms and legs that will permit amputees to play such a fast-moving contact sport. "Changes in technology are allowing us to make contact sport more inclusive," said Patria Hume, a professor at the Auckland University of Technology. "With softer materials and the ability to customize ... prosthetics, those with impairments can be integrated into mainstream sport.” The New Zealand Herald (4/20)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Coming out of the 2014 AOPA Policy Forum, there are three important O&P bills that we encourage you to contact your representatives about to urge their support -- learn more here and ACT NOW! Yesterday was AOPA's Charity Walk for April's Limb Loss Awareness Month -- we raised $2,205 to send 2 children to the Amputee Coalition's Summer Camp! Deadline for the Opportunities in Clinical O&P Research Support and Grants is coming up on April 30 -- be sure to get your proposal in ASAP! ABC is conducting a Practitioner Practice Analysis -- we encourage your support. All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
May 14:  Modifiers: How & When to Use Them (Telephone audio conference) Learn more or register online.
June 12-13: Mastering Medicare: Coding & Billing Seminar, Boston, Mass. Learn more or register online.
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more.
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-- Martin Luther King Jr.,
American civil rights activist
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