Study finds exoskeleton helpful in improving gait in stroke patients | SwissLeg brings mobility to amputees in war zones, developing countries | Scientists improve flexible copper conductors
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September 23, 2014
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AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Study finds exoskeleton helpful in improving gait in stroke patients
A study by the Kessler Foundation found that the Ekso Bionics exoskeleton can successfully improve gait among stroke patients. The average number of steps taken per minute among the eight patients participating in the study increased from 17.1 to 27.7 over six weeks, and the average amount of time they were able to stand or walk increased as well. MedGadget.com (9/22)
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ATTENTION: Pediatric Orthotists, Physical Therapists & PTAs
SureStep presents a continuing education course: Stability in Motion, Functional Solutions for the Hypotonic Gait. All courses are completely free of charge and include dinner and CEUs. For more details and a list of course locations, visit our website.
 
Science and Technology
SwissLeg brings mobility to amputees in war zones, developing countries
A new startup founded in Switzerland is making low-cost prosthetic legs for use in war zones and developing countries. Dubbed the SwissLeg, the device is made on site in patients' homes from a mix of polymers molded in a cast of the missing limb. "In general, after about three hours, the patient is able to walk," said Roberto Agosta, SwissLeg co-founder and chief operations officer. The Straits Times (Singapore) (subscription required) (9/20)
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Scientists improve flexible copper conductors
Australian researchers have found that adding polyvinyl alcohol to flexible copper conductors can increase their strength and durability. Flexible electronics have applications in a number of areas, including prosthetic skin. While copper is not as sensitive as gold in such conductors, it is less expensive and could be more widely used, according to researchers. TCEToday.com (9/22)
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Medical News
Roche's glucose monitor with insulin calculator wins FDA nod
The FDA has cleared Roche to market its Accu-Chek Aviva Expert device, which is said to be the first diabetes-management system that merges a blood-glucose monitor and an insulin calculator into a single unit. The prescription device is offered only to patients who can self-administer insulin injections. MassDevice.com (Boston) (9/18)
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Scientists ID gene linked to insulin signaling
Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have identified a gene called Tpcn2 that plays a role in insulin signaling. The study, published in the journal Genetics, found variants of the gene associated with fasting insulin in humans. Two of the main causes of type 2 diabetes are glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Business Standard (India) (9/21)
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Legislative and Regulatory
CMS: 7.3M are now enrolled in ACA plans
CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced Thursday that 7.3 million people are paid enrollees in Affordable Care Act insurance plans, fewer than the 8 million who had selected plans but much higher than the Congressional Budget Office's forecast of 6 million. The drop in enrollment from the signup figure was criticized by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Politico (9/19), The Hill (9/18)
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Anti-obesity bill to boost access to drugs, counseling
Reps. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Ron Kind, D-Wis., have introduced the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act meant to increase access to weight-loss counseling and new obesity drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. The legislation would also make incentives available to innovative biopharmaceutical firms. The Hill/Congress Blog (9/19)
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Trend Watch
Mobility clinic helps Boston bombing survivors, other amputees learn to run
Boston Marathon survivors were among 50 people of all ages who took part in a running and mobility clinic sponsored by Ossur and the Challenged Athletes Foundation at Harvard University. "It's always amazing to see that there's so many amputees out there that want to get back into being active and start running. It's nice to be able to show people that it can be done," said Heather Abbott, who lost her left leg below the knee in the bombing. Boston Herald (9/22), WCVB-TV (Boston) (9/21)
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War-injured Syrian refugees learn to use prostheses
This photo essay presents the stories of 13 Syrian refugees in Lebanon injured in the civil war, many of whom are now adjusting to life with prostheses. Time.com (9/22)
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AOPA News
Breaking news from AOPA
Stay HIPAA compliant -- Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) need to be updated by TODAY! 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 his team's breakthroughs and his personal recognition! The September O&P Almanac is online -- get your credits before the October issue! The U.S. Paraclimbing Team takes the gold, and you can get your FREE AOPA O&P insurance quote from Cailor Fleming Insurance -- 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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SmartQuote
Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious."
-- Jean Cocteau,
French writer
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