Robohand will now offer a 3D-printed prosthetic leg | U.K. funds research into tactile, flexible artificial skin | Students develop neuro system to control robotic arm
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May 20, 2014
AOPA In Advance SmartBrief
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Robohand will now offer a 3D-printed prosthetic leg
Robohand, founded by Richard Van As and Ivan Owen, has announced that it will now offer a 3D-printed leg prosthesis. The company is known for its open-source 3D printed prosthetic hand, which can be made for around $50. Designing a low-cost prosthetic leg was more challenging because it must hold a person's body weight. The device uses metal rods and pneumatic pumps in addition to 3D-printed plastic parts. Like the Robohand, Roboleg plans will be openly available so others can refine and customize the original device. (5/19)
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Science and TechnologySponsored By
U.K. funds research into tactile, flexible artificial skin
A four-year program to create highly flexible and tactile artificial skin for prostheses and robots received more than $1.8 million in funding from the U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. "To date, no robotics scientist has been able to create ultra-flexible tactile skin. Either the sensors have been too big or the electronics not sufficiently flexible," said project leader Ravinder S. Dahiya of the University of Glasgow. Dahiya developed tactile sensing chips in prior research, but will use the funding to find a lower-cost design methodology. EE Times Europe (5/19)
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Students develop neuro system to control robotic arm
A team of students from the University of Toronto is using a neuro headset with 14 sensors to pick up brain waves indicating the user's thoughts, expressions and feelings. The device can move a robotic arm with such actions as a wink or a clenched jaw, and the students hope their work will lead to mind-controlled prosthetic limbs. (5/17), Neurogadget (U.K.) (5/15)
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Medical News
Diabetes patients who eat two large meals show better outcomes
Type 2 diabetes patients attained lower body weight, liver fat content and fasting plasma glucose and had increased oral glucose insulin sensitivity when they consumed two large meals per day than when they ate six small meals with similar total calories, according to a small study in Diabetologia. Business Standard (India)/Indo-Asian News Service (5/17)
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Legislative and Regulatory
CEO talks about secrets to his ACO's success
Accountable care organizations have had varying degrees of success, but MissionPoint Health Partners is one that seems to be working well. Focusing on patients' home lives, choosing a scalable technology system and being unafraid to experiment have been keys, CEO Jason Dinger says. "I think often we err on trying to design this really complex system without getting started. But getting started is the most important thing, and then consequently building a system that can handle multiple populations is second," Dinger says. Vox (5/17)
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Trend Watch
Syrians work with whatever is at hand to provide free prostheses
Hajj Abou Salah, a resident of war-torn Douma, Syria, opened a pro bono workshop to make prostheses, as well as crutches and wheelchairs, for those who have lost limbs from shelling or because doctors lack medication that could have prevented amputation. He and former blacksmith Abou Rushdi have created prostheses out of whatever is available, including plaster, wood, plastic from unused water tanks and even mannequin parts. They have fit 54 patients so far, providing the $200 prostheses at no charge. ABC News (5/18)
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Jaipur Foot to donate artificial limbs to Afghans
India’s Jaipur Foot has signed an agreement with Afghanistan to provide 1,000 individuals with artificial limbs free of charge. Jaipur Foot has aided more than 1.3 million people globally by providing them with low-cost prosthetic limbs. The Economic Times (India) (5/19)
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Business and Finance
Keeping up with the latest in employment law
Judge in a courtroom
(Andrey Popov)
Business owners could end up in hot water if they fail to keep up with the laws and regulations involved with employing people, Dave Clarke writes. Small-business owners should be aware of efforts to raise the minimum wage and to provide employees with paid leave, and a number of states have laws designed to protect employees' privacy, Clarke writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (5/14)
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Properly classify your workers to avoid tax penalties
Businesses may face penalties if they improperly classify employees as independent contractors or play along with contractors who want to avoid paying taxes, writes Bonnie Lee, owner of Taxpertise. "You can save yourself the stress of this situation by complying with the tax laws," Lee advises, noting that the Internal Revenue Service has a program to help small firms with reclassification. Fox Business Small Business Center (5/15)
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Breaking news from AOPA
Time is running out to contact your representatives and restore due process -- this bipartisan letter to Secretary Sebelius at HHS is requesting a suspension of RAC audits until the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals can provide an ALJ hearing within 90 days of request, as required by BIPA 2000. The cutoff is this Friday -- send your letter today! The AOPA 2014 Assembly Preliminary Program is HERE -- register today! All of this and more in today's AOPA Breaking News.
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June 11: The Self Audit: A Useful Tool, telephone audio conference  Learn more or register online
June 12-13:
Mastering Medicare: Coding & Billing Seminar, Boston, Mass. Learn more or register online.
Sept. 4-7: AOPA 2014 National Assembly, Las Vegas, Nev. Learn more.
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