Next generation of prostheses will give sensory feedback | Controlling virtual arm reduces phantom limb pain for one amputee | Scientists developing new technologies to help wounded troops
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February 27, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Next generation of prostheses will give sensory feedback
Scientists are embedding pressure sensors in new prostheses that give sensory feedback to the wearers, which can improve their ability to control the devices. The research is still experimental, with the ability to establish wireless connections among the challenges, researchers say. National Geographic News (free registration) (2/22)
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Science and Technology
Controlling virtual arm reduces phantom limb pain for one amputee
An amputee's phantom limb pain decreased when he controlled a "virtual arm" on a computer screen, researchers report in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. The researchers created an on-screen likeness of the man who lost his right arm below the elbow in 1965 and continued to suffer pain. The avatar had a complete arm, which the patient controlled through sensors in his residual limb. HealthDay News (2/25), Gizmag (2/25)
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Scientists developing new technologies to help wounded troops
Doctors at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have begun the second phase of a $75 million Defense Department initiative to develop technologies to restore function to traumatized limbs and regenerate severely burned skin. Lost limbs and burns are among the most frequent injuries in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, said institute Director Dr. Anthony Atala, who noted that the initiative's purpose is to give quality of life to returning wounded veterans. The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (2/25)
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Medical News
Diabetic foot ulcers respond to tissue repair drug in study
Diabetic foot ulcers were twice as likely to heal within eight weeks in patients treated with the tissue repair drug polydeoxyribonucleotide than in patients given placebo, according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Wounds in 37% of the treatment group healed completely within the study time period, compared with less than 19% in the placebo group. (India) (2/27)
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Trend Watch
Acute compartment syndrome leads to amputation of journalist's forearm
Former CNN correspondent Miles O'Brien recently announced that his left arm was amputated just above the elbow after an accident caused acute compartment syndrome. O'Brien was stacking boxes when one fell onto his forearm, causing pressure to build and constrict blood flow. CNN (2/27)
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Young amputee reaches new heights through snowboarding
A teenager who lost her leg above the knee to osteosarcoma in 2010 turned from being a gymnast before the amputation to a snowboarder afterward and now hopes to compete at the 2018 Paralympics. She and her mother moved from Louisiana to Utah, and she now trains at the National Ability Center in Park City. Craig Daily Press (Colo.) (2/23)
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Initiative crowdsources 3D prosthesis printing
The e-NABLE initiative, which includes a website, Facebook page and Google+ page, connects people missing all or part of a hand with other people and institutions with 3D printers that can turn out mechanical hands for $20 to $150. "I see e-NABLE as a crowd-sourced pay-it-forward network for design, customization and fabrication of all sorts of assistive technologies,” said founder Jon Schull, a researcher at the Rochester Institute of Technology. "This is a scalable model that could go way beyond 3D printed prosthetic hands." GigaOm (2/25)
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Business and Finance
Start using ICD-10 now, experts advise
Most practices will only use a small number of the roughly 69,000 ICD-10 codes, and focusing on only those that are applicable can save time and money, experts at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annual conference said. Providers can start using ICD-10 codes now to become familiar with changes before the standard is mandatory and should consider using coding software. MedPage Today (free registration) (2/26)
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Leto Solutions aims for $2 million to fund prosthesis cooling system
Leto Solutions CEO Becky Ariana is talking with prospective investors to fund development of the company's Aquilonix Prosthesis Cooling System, a thermoelectric temperature management system that fits into the sockets of lower-limb prostheses. The buildup of heat in prostheses can cause skin ulcers and infections, and absorbent socks and antiperspirants do not address the core problem, Ariana says. Leto Solutions was founded by University of Texas at San Antonio engineering students, including an Iraq war veteran who lost his leg as a result of injuries. American City Business Journals/San Antonio/Alamo City Beat blog (2/25)
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Breaking news from AOPA
CMS solicits public input on the next phase of competitive bidding, and we encourage all AOPA members to submit comments as soon as possible! The AOPA Policy Forum is just around the bend. Visit the Capitol and give Congress a piece of your mind while maximizing your learning opportunities with special business and clinical education programs -- register today! All Coding products are available in the AOPA bookstore. Keep up with the changes and don’t be left out in the cold -- visit the bookstore today! Are you at the Academy meeting in Chicago? Be sure to visit AOPA Booth 227 and win big! All of this and more in today’s AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
March 12: The ABC's of Audits: What to Expect and How to Respond (Telephone audio conference)
Learn more or register online.
April 2 - 4: 2014 AOPA Policy Forum, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C. Learn more or register online.
April 7 - 8: Mastering Medicare: Essential Coding and Billing Seminar, Las Vegas Learn more or register online.
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