Robotic cheetah could lead to prosthetic advances | Hawaiian company developing device to improve comfort of prostheses | U.K. startup raising funds to create improved orthoses
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September 18, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Robotic cheetah could lead to prosthetic advances
MIT scientists have developed a robotic cheetah that is able to jump in midair and bound along the ground, using an algorithm that controls the amount of force the robot exerts after it hits the ground. According to researcher Sangbae Kim, the technology could be used to develop advanced prosthetic limbs. ITV (U.K.) (9/17)
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Science and Technology
Hawaiian company developing device to improve comfort of prostheses
The National Science Foundation awarded Hawaiian startup Koa Technologies $215,000 to develop a product to improve the interface between a prosthesis and the residual limb. The device uses suction-based technology and will work with commercially available prostheses. "We believe this technology would be able to affect the shape of the residual limb. That's going to result in a more consistent and comfortable fit," Koa President Kaione Newton. American City Business Journals/San Francisco (9/16)
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U.K. startup raising funds to create improved orthoses
A new company in Britain has launched a crowdfunding campaign to develop customized 3D-printed orthoses for children with disabilities. Andiamo, founded by the parents of a child who had cerebral palsy, plans to work with three families to develop the orthotic designs. (9/18)
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Medical News
Study: Artificial sweeteners could raise blood sugar levels
A new study published in the journal Nature found that artificial sweeteners can potentially increase blood sugar levels. Following animal experiments, researchers looked at human subjects and found a greater likelihood of higher fasting blood sugar levels in long-term users of artificial sweeteners, as well as signs of impaired glucose processing. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (9/17)
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Legislative and Regulatory
GAO finds security flaws on
The federally run health insurance exchange still has some privacy and security weaknesses, according to a Government Accountability Office investigation. The GAO attributed most of the problems to confusion among contractors, states and federal entities over which organizations are responsible for the functions. Reuters (9/17)
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ACOs saved $372M in Medicare costs last year, CMS says
Quality improved broadly under Medicare's accountable care organization programs, and 64 of the 243 Medicare ACOs saved the program enough money to earn bonuses last year, according to the CMS. Fifty-three ACOs participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and 11 participating in the Pioneer program saved enough money to earn bonuses. Overall, the ACOs saved Medicare $372 million. Kaiser Health News/Capsules blog (9/16), Modern Healthcare (free registration) (9/16)
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Trend Watch
U.K. amputee seeks additional amputation to realize Paralympic dream
A British teenager who had her right leg amputated in 2010 as the result of developmental dysplasia began running with her new prosthetic limb and now wants to have her left foot amputated as well. Her remaining leg has severe tendon damage and deformed toes and has suffered increased strain. Danielle Bradshaw, 15, believes replacing her left foot with a prosthesis will enable her to realize her dream of competing in the Paralympics. The Daily Mail (London) (9/18)
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Business and Finance
Lenders' risk-prediction models are evolving
Karen Mills, former administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, writes that lenders are experimenting with using different types of data to help identify good prospects for business loans. Such data might include industry trends, social media updates, cash-flow information and more. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (9/16)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Participate in the O&P campaign of the year: Mobility Saves. Get involved and spread the good word on the cost-effectiveness study everyone is talking about! Hugh Herr is R&D Magazine's Innovator of the Year -- read about the breakthroughs and his recognition! The VA releases the revised prosthetic limb contract template -- get the scoop! The September O&P Almanac is online -- get your credits and the latest news! On the horizon, the St. Louis Coding & Billing Seminar is coming up. It is your gateway to everything coding and billing -- register today! ABC launches the new CPM exam prep videos, and Ottobock hires Chris Wintenburg as its new director of e-commerce and inside sales -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Oct. 8: Medicare Enrollment, Revalidation, and Participation, webinar conference Learn more or register online.
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.
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A thing well done is worth doing."
-- Hugh Leonard,
Irish dramatist
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