Surgeons implant nerves to activate prosthesis | European scientists test mind-controlled exoskeleton | Diagnostic spectroscopy could help reduce foot amputations
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August 13, 2013
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News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Surgeons implant nerves to activate prosthesis
Reconstructive surgeons have transplanted and rerouted nerves into the paralyzed shoulder of a motorcycle accident victim so that he will have a better opportunity to operate a myoelectric prosthesis for his missing right arm. The operation was conducted at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, N.J., by a team led by Emran Sheikh of the Institute for Nerve, Hand, and Reconstructive Surgery. Sheikh said his patient is already showing some shoulder function. "If he gets back three or four muscle groups, then that will potentially translate to three or four prostheses actions," Sheikh said. The Hudson Reporter (N.J.) (8/11)
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Science and Technology
European scientists test mind-controlled exoskeleton
A group of European researchers are testing the prototype of a robotic exoskeleton, called Mindwalker, controlled entirely by the user's thoughts. The robotic legs, initially run by computer, are operated through a scalp cap that measures electrical activity from the region of the brain that directs walking, according to neurophysiologist Guy Cheron of the University of Brussels. Scientists are developing glasses that can detect eye movements to control the exoskeleton as well. Reuters (8/9)
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Medical News
Diagnostic spectroscopy could help reduce foot amputations
An old-fashioned procedure known as Raman spectroscopy, which is less costly than a CT or MRI, has been shown to detect bone composition changes in the feet of diabetes patients, leading researchers to believe the technology could be effective in the early diagnosis of osteomyelitis, which could improve treatment and help prevent amputations. The study was conducted at the University of Michigan Medical School and appeared online in the publication Diabetes Care. Medscape (free registration) (8/12)
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Guided imagery may ease neuropathy, other issues in diabetes patients
Data presented at the American Association of Diabetes Educators meeting revealed that guided imagery featuring positive images and soothing music and words may help curb A1C rates, depressive symptoms and neuropathy in diabetes patients. The guided imagery intervention also appeared to help reduce anxiety-related behaviors and stress in patients and may ease the transition from hospital to home care. Healio/Endocrine Today (8/9)
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Legislative and Regulatory
Providers should ensure EHR compliance before HIPAA deadline
Before the implementation deadline of HIPAA's omnibus rules on Sept. 23, providers must be sure they have made the required changes to electronic health records, according to business expert Ronald B. Sterling. These include upgrading your EHR platform to the stage 2 meaningful use version and planning a security risk analysis. "[K]eep a close eye on your EHR vendor as it moves to address these issues," he writes. Medscape (free registration) (8/13)
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Featured Content
Trend Watch
Limbs for Life partners with VA Medical Center for amputee community event
Limbs for Life is joining the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center to host a combined 5k run and veterans' "Welcome Home Celebration" on Aug. 24 to boost a sense of community among military and civilian amputees. "Knowing that someone else has overcome the same obstacles is very powerful for another's success in healing," said Lucy Fraser, executive director of Limbs for Life, which is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla. The City Sentinel (Oklahoma City) (8/13)
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"Elysium" exoskeleton mimics real-world devices
The exoskeleton that actor Matt Damon wears for the science-fiction film "Elysium" is in part modeled after an actual military-style exosuit designed by Ekso Bionics and Lockheed Martin called the Human Universal Load Carrier, or HULC. In the movie, Damon's suit functions both to augment his strength and speed and help him deal with physical impairment, just as a medical exoskeleton aids people who are paralyzed or recovering from strokes. Exosuits have appeared in such films as "Iron Man" and "Avatar," making the public more aware of exoskeleton technology, says Ekso Bionics CEO Nathan Harding. Business Insider (8/10)
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Other News
AOPA News
Breaking news from AOPA
In today's Breaking News, AOPA congratulates Proteor, ABC and College Park Industries for many years of successful business! We also say many thank yous to the generous donors for the Wine Tasting & Auction at the O&P World Congress. AOPA is still seeking video submissions for the O&P World Congress opening ceremony--send in yours today. We take a moment to remember a former past president of AOPA's Government Affairs, Robert Baughman. And don't forget the AOPAversity audio conference scheduled tomorrow—all of this in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
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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SmartQuote
The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, Thus far and no farther."
-- Ludwig van Beethoven,
German composer
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