Where Prosthetics are Headed

The leaps and bounds in prosthetic technology continue to amaze and give hope to anyone who requires a prosthesis.

The latest prosthetic arm advancements we’ve read about are very inspiring – and sound like something out of science fiction.

Nine-year-old Josh Cathcart of Dalgety Bay in Fife, who was born missing his right arm below the elbow, is the youngest person in the United Kingdom to be fitted with the revolutionary new i-limb quantum developed by Touch Bionics.

Josh has learned to control the special child-sized hand with muscle signals from his residual limb that activate different movements and grips. A mobile app is used to configure the i-limb to suit the wearer’s needs.

The grade school boy spoke to The Guardian just days after he was fitted with his i-limb and said he could already use the prosthesis to grip things. He was excited to share that he had already used a knife for food, opened bottles, built with Lego pieces, and pulled his pants up unassisted.

Josh’s parents shared that children at their son’s school had been picking on him because he was differently abled, but are hopeful his new bionic limb will give him not only independence but confidence. The i-limb’s technology allows movements forward, back, and from side to side, thereby permitting very natural grips (including a pincer or lateral grip).

The family is already saving for his next prosthetic limb knowing that Josh will soon outgrow his new i-limb. More than helping children adapt to artificial limbs, families frequently find affordability the biggest challenge. Michigan families can rest assured that at our more than 20 locations — including Traverse City, Petoskey, Cadillac, and Marquette — Teter accepts a number of health insurance plans and offer clients extended payment plan options.

North American researchers at the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have done what many people would never dream could be possible: They have designed a new prosthetic hand that is not just controlled by brain impulses but has restored a paralyzed man’s sense of touch.

Incredibly, DARPA placed electrodes directly into the sensory cortex of the man’s brain and tests successfully showed he could feel sensations of touch via the prosthesis. The subject could feel which of the prosthetic fingers was touched thanks to the cutting edge neural technologies developed by DARPA.

This advancement in technology is just one of several neurotechnology-based prosthetic advances under development at DARPA. Restoring not just movement but sensation is the next level in restoring natural function.

If you are interested to learn more about the new prosthetic technology currently available in our more than 20 locations including Traverse City, Petoskey, Cadillac, and Marquette, we are happy to meet with you to discuss your needs.

Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics has been offering expert prosthetic services in Michigan since 1955. We not only accept most health insurance plans but offer extended payment options.

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