Device monitors swelling in amputee limbs | Tokyo researchers develop ultralight sensing material | Lack of FDA approval frustrates osseointegration proponents
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July 25, 2013
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Device monitors swelling in amputee limbs
Bioengineers at the University of Washington are testing a prototype that could make wearing prostheses more comfortable by wirelessly monitoring how the residual limb swells and shrinks during a day's normal activities. The device, which is worn around the waist, calculates the percentage change in fluid levels through electrodes on the patient's limb and displays them on a tablet computer 15 times a second. Researchers plan to build a smaller model that patients could wear for several weeks at a time. The Engineer (U.K.) (7/24)
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Tokyo researchers develop ultralight sensing material
Scientists in Japan have developed an extremely lightweight plastic material, only one micrometer thick and imbedded with sensors, that could have broad applications in medical implants and touch-sensitive skin for prosthetic devices. The flexible material holds up to moisture, bending and stretching -- key attributes of artificial skin -- and is barely perceptible worn on the back of the hand or even on the roof of the mouth, according to its developers. BioSpectrum Asia (7/25)
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Lack of FDA approval frustrates osseointegration proponents
American physicians who advocate implanted titanium prosthetic connections, or osseointegration, as an alternative to conventional external sockets have criticized the delay in approval by the FDA. "I think it's an important overdue development that has to be encouraged to be brought into this country," said U.S. orthopedic surgeon Anna Kulidjian. The Swedish company Sahlgrenska I.C. has filed for humanitarian device exemption with the FDA to speed the approval process, which otherwise would take years of clinical trials and analysis. KAAL-TV (Austin, Minn.) (7/24)
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Medical News
Rotationplasty proves success for child athlete
To treat a rare type of aggressive bone cancer, 11-year-old Bailey Moody underwent a radical surgical procedure called rotationplasty. Surgeons removed the knee and replaced it with her ankle, rotating the joint so it bends in the same direction as the knee did. A year later, the girl and her family remain happy about their decision. "She was an athlete and she didn't want to have to give up sports," her parents explained. The Huffington Post (7/24)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
AOPA, other advocacy groups support Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act
The Affordable Care Act will do little to address insurance limits on prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation, writes Stephen Webster. Many private insurance plans cap reimbursement at $5,000 a year, while AOPA says costs can reach as much $450,000 for many amputees. AOPA endorses the Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act, stating, “If these patients are prevented from accessing the care needed to continue to be productive members of society, they are often forced to become reliant on public programs such as Medicaid.” (7/23)
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Legislators ask CMS, ONC to ban intentional interoperability restrictions
Reps. Mike Honda, D-Calif., and Diane Black, R-Tenn., asked the ONC and CMS to extend the expiring EHR anti-kickback safe harbor regulations to ban intentional health IT interoperability limitations. "HHS should establish a new condition under the exception and safe harbor that clarifies that prohibition against data 'lock-in' and require that any written agreement subject to the exception and safe harbor incorporate this new condition," the legislators wrote in a letter sent to the agencies. (7/23)
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Trend Watch
Volunteers assemble hundreds of hands for amputees overseas
Hundreds of World Education Conference attendees assembled 500 prosthetic hands in an event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The prostheses will go to amputees and land-mine survivors throughout the world. KTNV-TV (Las Vegas) (7/23)
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Venezuelan amputee builds his own prosthetic arm
Angel Sanguino, an electronics technician from Caracas, Venezuela, began building his own prosthetic arm while he was still in intensive care after a 2012 motorcycle accident. Sanguino won a Science, Technology and Innovation Prize for the arm, which includes switches, sensors and a magnifying glass. Yahoo (7/23)
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Breaking news from AOPA
In today’s breaking news, you will receive an important update on Medicare recoupment of payments made for incarcerated beneficiaries; learn the latest on the upcoming World Congress; how to sign up for a free HIPAA webinar and more. Read AOPA's Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Aug. 9: Last day to save $100 off your World Congress registration
Aug. 14:
Don't Get Stuck with the Bill: Medicare Inpatient Billing (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online
Aug. 28: 2013 HIPAA and the HITECH Final Rule Webinar
Learn more and register online
Sept. 11: Read Between the Lines: The Medicare Lower Limb Prosthetic Policy (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online
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