MIT lab develops dancing leg for Boston Marathon victim | Father designs 3D-printed hand for son | Japanese companies eye bionic suit market
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March 20, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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MIT lab develops dancing leg for Boston Marathon victim
Dance instructor Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing last year, demonstrated a ballroom routine at a recent TED talk using her new specialized dance leg designed by Hugh Herr and his Biomechatronics Group at the MIT Media Lab. Researchers studied dancers and dance movement for months before building a prosthesis with 12 sensors and advanced microprocessors specifically for dancing. Haslet-Davis switches to a different prosthetic leg for walking. FastCoExist (3/19)
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Father designs 3D-printed hand for son
High-school teacher Peter Binkley fabricated the Talon Hand 2.0, a snap-together prosthesis he designed with and for his son, using open-source data and a Solidoodle 3D printer. Binkley found his basic design through the organization E-Nable and used feedback from his son to refine the device. (3/19)
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Japanese companies eye bionic suit market
Japanese companies, including major auto manufacturers, are investing in exoskeletons to aid people with disabilities and meet the needs of an aging society. Cyberdyne's robotic suit, called Hybrid Assistive Limb, is being used in some Japanese hospitals and nursing homes and has been approved as a medical device in Europe. Yaskawa Electric, maker of industrial robots, will market the ReWalk exoskeleton from Israel's Argo Medical. Carmakers Toyota and Honda are testing devices to assist disabled or paralyzed patients or those recovering from strokes. Bloomberg (3/18)
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Inventor highlights progress on new prosthetic arm
Segway inventor Dean Kamen, speaking at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, highlighted the work being done at DEKA Research, including advances on its "Luke" arm, a prosthetic limb for the Defense Department that is named after Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars." Kamen also promoted his 25-year-old robotics competition and urged educators to attract more students to careers in technology and science. IEEE Spectrum online (3/19)
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Medical News
Cell discovery raises hope for diabetes patients
Vanderbilt University researchers have found that beta cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin are capable of regenerating with the help of a key bone marrow component placed in the damaged part of the beta cell. Researchers said this discovery gives hope to patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, wherein beta cell functions are compromised. Details are published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model) (3/18)
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How to diagnose and treat chronic diabetic foot ulcers
Diabetic foot ulcers cause a significant number of hospitalizations and amputations, and clinicians must learn to diagnose them accurately and quickly and determine the appropriate wound management program, writes podiatrist Molly Judge. She reviews the causes of poor wound healing, diabetic wound pathology, and diagnosing neuropathic, traumatic and arterial ulcerations. She also provides practical wound care regimens, based on the current literature and her own experience, for patients with diabetes. Podiatry Today magazine (3/2014)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
ACA enrollments exceed 5M, White House says
The White House said Monday that more than 5 million people have enrolled in private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, with two weeks left until the March 31 deadline, raising the possibility of reaching 6 million by the month's end. "The last several days have been the busiest since December, with the Call Center taking more than 198,000 calls on Thursday alone ... and more than 130,000 calls over the weekend," CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner wrote in a blog post. "Last week, saw more than 4 million visits -- and an additional 1 million visits this weekend." Politico (Washington, D.C.) (3/18), Reuters (3/17)
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State SHOP exchanges gather momentum
Some states that opened health insurance marketplaces for small businesses under the Affordable Care Act's Small Business Health Options Program are seeing increased employer interest despite the delayed employer mandate and rolling enrollment periods. SHOP exchanges offer more choices to employers and employees as well as tax advantages for some employers, says Jim Sugden, Colorado's small-business exchange manager. SHOP exchange officials in Rhode Island are building partnerships with brokers, offering training and allowing employers to continue working with brokers. HealthLeaders Media (3/18)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Expand your boundaries with AOPA's Coding & Billing Seminar in Las Vegas -- we're all in! Are you? April is Limb Loss Awareness Month and just around the bend -- what better way to support the profession than to participate in the Annual Policy Forum, April 2-3 at the Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel, with extended educational programs being offered April 3-4? Register today! Steve Cash was selected to be the flag bearer for the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, and the Amputee Coalition expands its Educational Conference Committee -- all of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
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.
April 9:  How to Use Advanced Beneficiary Notices (ABNs) Effectively (Telephone audio conference) Learn more or register online.

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The young always have the same problem -- how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another."
-- Quentin Crisp,
British writer
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