Smartphones can help give prostheses a sense of touch | French designer creates specialized prosthetic leg for soccer | Study: Stress may play role in onset of type 2 diabetes
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October 31, 2013
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Smartphones can help give prostheses a sense of touch
Mark Miodownik and the University of Chicago-based team working on the Light.Touch.Matters project are investigating how smartphone screens can be used to fabricate touch-sensitive prosthetic hands. "The technology that works on the flat and hard mobile phone screens has to be adapted to the soft, deformable and multiple curved surfaces of a prosthesis -- a considerable challenge," he writes. Hispanic Business (10/30)
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Science and Technology
French designer creates specialized prosthetic leg for soccer
French product designer Aurelien Dantin created a special prosthetic leg for playing soccer after seeing the first amputee play in an officially sanctioned FIFA soccer competition. His design features a depressurization system to secure the knee and a flexible foot that can absorb shocks from kicking. (10/29)
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Medical News
Study: Stress may play role in onset of type 2 diabetes
Researchers in India have found that type 2 diabetes was more prevalent among those suffering from high stress caused by such events as job loss, separation from a spouse or death of a relative. The study by New Delhi's University College of Medical Sciences covered 1,000 people, including 500 diagnosed with diabetes. Physicians found that the ability to cope effectively with stress, using such tools as yoga, music and sports, lowered the likelihood of type 2 diabetes by 33%. The Times of India (10/29)
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Antibiotics as effective as surgery in diabetes patients with foot osteomyelitis
A small study of diabetes patients with foot osteomyelitis revealed 75% of those who took antibiotics and 86.3% of those who underwent surgery attained primary healing at 12 weeks. The median healing time was six weeks in the antibiotic group and seven weeks in the surgery arm, and there was no significant difference in minor amputations in both groups. The findings in Diabetes Care suggest that antibiotic treatment should be the first option in osteomyelitis patients, researchers said. Medscape (free registration) (10/24)
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Supplements may aid wound healing in diabetic patients
A review of animal studies determined that such dietary supplements as curcumin, L-arginine and vitamin E can help wound healing in type 2 diabetes patients, according to researchers at Florida State University in Tallahassee. According to the review, published in the journal SkinMed, an estimated 30% of patients with diabetes 40 or older suffer from diabetic foot ulcers at one time or another. (10/27)
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Team approach prevents amputation for Pa. man
Dr. Adam Teichman, a member of the Limb Salvage team at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, Pa., enlisted the help of a cardiovascular interventional radiologist, an epidemiologist and other colleagues to avoid amputating the leg of a man who had walked on a broken heel for a year. The patient has diabetic neuropathy and did not know he had broken his heel until the fracture created a nonhealing open wound that became gangrenous. Instead of amputating, as other surgeons had recommended, Teichman and fellow doctors cut a portion of the heel and closed the wound. The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) (10/28)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Detailed proof of delivery key to Medicare O&P reimbursements
To reduce error rates in Medicare submissions, facilities must provide not only complete detailed written orders, but a valid proof of delivery form for every item and service provided, writes Devon Bernard, AOPA manager of reimbursement services. Proof of in-person delivery must include patient's name, delivery address, a detailed description of the item or service provided using patient-friendly language, delivery date and dated signature. While the error rate for claims related to lower-limb prostheses remains high, Bernard notes, it has dropped 28% since pre-payment reviews began in 2012. O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (10/2013)
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Business Tips and Advice
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Trend Watch
Double amputee to snowboard in Paralympic Winter Games
Amy Purdy, who lost both legs below the knee to bacterial meningitis 15 years ago, will be competing in the first-ever adaptive snowboarding event at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Purdy founded Adaptive Action Sports in California to offer skateboarding, snowboarding and other sports to those with disabilities. "I always say snowboarding saved my life," she said. The Huffington Post (10/30)
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Special prosthesis enables war veteran to compete in archery
Lance Thornton, who lost his right hand because of improvised explosive device in Iraq, will be competing in the World Archery Para Championships in Bankok in November, using a special device designed by prosthetist Del Lipe. With it, Thornton can easily pull a bow with a draw weight of 70 pounds. Springfield News-Leader (Mo.) (tiered subscription model) (10/28)
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Breaking news from AOPA
H.R. 3112 is gathering steam with a growing list of co-sponsors – be sure to read and take action! Set your calendar for 2014 and fix your sights on the AOPA National Assembly in Las Vegas! Get the latest on the OIG Report critical of Jurisdiction B DME MAC claim payments – don't miss it! AOPAversity is hosting an audio conference in November on advocacy – take an active role in controlling the future of O&P treatment by registering today! Be sure to take some time to review the World Congress wrap-up in this November's O&P Almanac - All of this in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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