MIT sees a world of uses for cheetah-robot technology | Patents trace evolution of prosthetics | Arm transplant recipient expresses thanks
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December 2, 2014
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News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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MIT sees a world of uses for cheetah-robot technology
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology see a wide range of real-world applications for the technology they're developing with the university's cheetah-like running robot. Among other MIT-developed elements, the robot uses lightweight motors and an algorithm that calculates how much force should be exerted by the leg while running. Researchers said the technology could be used to create more advanced prostheses, among other things. The Associated Press (12/1)
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Science and Technology
Patents trace evolution of prosthetics
Hugh Herr is set to receive the Inventor of the Year award from the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation for his contributions to the development of prosthetic feet. In recognition, this article offers an overview of advances in prosthetics, including links to patent applications for such devices as a pneumatic foot prosthesis in the late 1800s and an early breast prosthesis. IPWatchdog.com (12/1)
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Medical News
Arm transplant recipient expresses thanks
Quadruple amputee Will Lautzenheiser, who received a double arm transplant in October at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, held a press conference to thank the anonymous donor, as well as doctors and nurses for their care. The operation, which lasted almost nine hours, involved 45 medical professionals. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (11/27)
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Artificial pancreas improves glucose rates in youth with diabetes
A study in Pediatric Diabetes showed adolescent type 1 diabetes patients who used a closed-loop artificial pancreas system exhibited near-normal blood glucose levels for a longer period following an unannounced snack compared with usual treatment. However, researchers said the benefits of using an artificial pancreas were still "suboptimal by diabetes standards." MedWire News (U.K.) (11/28)
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Vegetable-based diet more effective than drugs in diabetes care
Researchers at George Washington University found a vegetable-based diet outperformed medications in improving blood glucose levels, body weight and cholesterol in type 2 diabetes patients. Researchers said the results in Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy do not suggest everybody should follow such a diet, but adopting a healthy eating habit would be beneficial. Business Standard (India)/Asian News International (11/24)
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Other News
Legislative and Regulatory
FDA explores regulatory role in brain-computer interfaces
The FDA is considering how to regulate brain-computer interfaces used to control prostheses to ensure their safety. A Nov. 21 meeting explored such issues as how long electrodes can remain in the brain and the consequences of malfunctions. "We need some clear guidelines, even at the engineering phase," said Marcus Gerhardt, chief financial officer of Blackrock Microsystems in Salt Lake City, which makes electrode arrays. Nature (free content) (11/26)
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Agency proposes changes to Medicare Shared Savings Program
The CMS has issued a proposal to provide accountable care organizations joining the Medicare Shared Savings Program greater "lead time" in shifting to a two-sided risk model. The agency also seeks to improve the process for assigning enrollees to ACOs and to improve access to patient health data. BeckersHospitalReview.com (12/1)
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Trend Watch
Michigan amputee advocates for those with limb loss
Dave Dunville had his left leg amputated below the knee in 2003 and, since then, he has become an advocate for other amputees. The Amputee Firefighters Association says Dunville is the first full-time amputee peer-support visitor in the country, and he's also a member of the Amputee Coalition Honor Scientific Medical Advisory Committee. The Michigan resident says the coalition is working in his and other states to secure equity in insurance benefits for those with limb loss. Livingston County Daily Press & Argus (Howell, Mich.) (12/2)
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AOPA News
Breaking news from AOPA
Now available: AOPA's Coding and Billing Seminar manuals! Cascade Orthopedic Supply announces an agreement with Ability Dynamics. The 2015 Medicare DMEPOS fee schedule has been released. Read about the changes. Reminder: Sign up for the Dec. 3 webinar on valuable dental, vision and ancillary plans from Cailor Fleming. Just announced: Three Mastering Medicare: Essential Coding and Billing Seminars for 2015! All this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News!
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Upcoming events
Dec. 10: New Codes & Changes for 2015, webinar conference Learn more and register online.
Jan. 14: Fill In the Blanks: VA Contracting and the New Template, webinar conference Learn more or register online.
Feb. 9-10: Mastering Medicare: Essential Coding & Billing Seminar, Savannah, Ga. Learn more and register online.
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SmartQuote
The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship."
-- William Blake,
British painter and poet
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