Company tests 3D printed hands on Ala. 2-year-old | Malaysian researchers develop high-tech cycling leg | Swim leg propels young girl into the pool
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August 20, 2013
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Company tests 3D printed hands on Ala. 2-year-old
Huntsville, Ala.-based Zero Point Frontiers is testing a variety of 3D printed plastic hand prostheses on 2-year-old Kate Berkholtz, who was born without fingers on one hand. The 3D printing technology has allowed the company to make the hand prosthesis for $5 and to swiftly develop modifications that might be suitable for someone as young and active as Kate. (Alabama) (8/20)
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Science and Technology
Malaysian researchers develop high-tech cycling leg
An engineering team from Malaysia's Universiti Malaya is testing an advanced prosthetic leg fitted with sensors on a cyclist who has begun a bicycling expedition of more than 680 miles, during which the team will monitor the pressure on the leg as well as its response levels on a laptop computer. The researchers, led by Noor Azuan Abu Osman, have developed three specialized legs for walking, running and cycling. Bernama (Malaysian National News Agency) (8/20)
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Swim leg propels young girl into the pool
Ten-year-old Alicia Guerrero, who lost a leg in a lawn mower accident, has now become an active swimmer, thanks to an innovative and inexpensive swim-leg prosthesis developed by Larry Jensen of Yakima Orthotics & Prosthetics in Washington state. The leg is made of polypropylene and copolymer, materials more commonly used for leg braces. Its fin has a permanent angle, with a tread attached to the base so Alicia can walk on slippery surfaces. Yakima Herald-Republic (Wash.) (free registration) (8/17)
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Medical News
Buffalo, N.Y., institute uses vascular radiology to treat nonhealing ulcers
At Buffalo General Hospital and the Vascular Institute in New York, physician Azher Iqbal employs a minimally invasive technique known as vascular interventional radiology to open blocked blood vessels in the leg and treat conditions that lead to nonhealing ulcers. In many cases, said Iqbal, patients can walk as soon as two hours after the procedure. The Buffalo News (N.Y.) (8/17)
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U.N.: Polio appears to be spreading in Somalia
The United Nations has confirmed 105 cases of polio in Somalia and 10 across the border in Kenya. A nationwide vaccination campaign is underway and has already reached 4 million people. However, authorities cannot contact 600,000 children in areas controlled by the militant group al-Shabab. The U.N. fears there may be thousands of children with the virus, but no symptoms yet. Las Vegas Sun (8/20)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
Some states tighten Medicaid eligibility
Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin plan to tighten eligibility for Medicaid, pending federal approval. While Rhode Island is expanding Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act to 138% of the federal poverty level, the state will scale back eligibility for some residents from 175% of poverty to 138%. Waivers in Wisconsin and Vermont expanding eligibility are expiring and will not be renewed, and Maine will tighten eligibility for parents and caretakers to 100% of the poverty level. Kaiser Health News (8/18)
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Featured Content
Trend Watch
In Boston, first responders and military amputees play ball
At Boston's Fenway Park, a team of police and first responders from the Boston Marathon bombing took on the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team -- and lost 28-11. WWAST, which plays firefighter and police teams around the country, has team members with a variety of amputations, from one hand to both legs. "We have a motto," said WWAST General Manager David Van Sleet. "Life without a limb is limitless. But more importantly, life goes on." (8/19)
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Jaipur Foot will be Harvard Business School case study
Jaipur Foot, the Indian company that makes inexpensive mass-produced prostheses that are given free to patients, will be the subject of a case study at Harvard Business School beginning next month. The study will examine the company's technology, financial management, sustainability and patient-centric business model. Jaipur Foot has provided artificial limbs to nearly 1.35 million people. Wall Street Journal (India)/Press Trust of India (8/17)
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Upcoming events
Sept. 11: Read Between the Lines: The Medicare Lower Limb Prosthetic Policy (Telephone audio conference)
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Sept. 18-21: AOPA O&P World Congress, Orlando, Fla.
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Oct. 22-23: Mastering Medicare: Advanced Coding and Billing Techniques, Las Vegas
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Some people grumble because roses have thorns; I am thankful that the thorns have roses."
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French critic
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