Technology is making great strides every day. So you can, too.
Advanced Prosthetic Technology
Today's advanced prosthetic technologies are truly amazing. They are making possible levels of sensitivity and mobility never imagined a few years ago. Even more important, they're enabling amputees to live more active, more engaged, more fulfilling lives.
As with all technologies, the more they're adapted, the more they become the norm. So today, advanced prosthetic technologies are no longer just for those who aspire to mountain climb or ski. They're for everyone.
This means there really is no longer any such thing as a "basic leg." No matter what your level of activity, we are able to employ a range of technologies from a variety of pioneering partners, including Ossur, WillowWood, OPIE, BTS, Ottobock and Extremiti3D, to build the customized prostheses that can help you achieve your work, play and lifestyle goals. Here are some of the technologies available to us:
Computer aided design has been a key part of prosthesis development for many years, but with the rise of 3D printing, CAM – computer aided manufacturing – is taking on new prominence. Through our partners, we 3D print prosthetic sockets and custom distal socket cushions printed in silicone. And we are seeing all types of bracing being 3D printed, including spinal bracing, wrist-hand-finger bracing, knee and ankle bracing, hip bracing, and cranial helmets for infants with plagiocephaly. This is an area to watch, as 3D printers are now able to print a wide range of materials, including titanium, silicone gels, carbon and multiple flexible durometer plastics.
CAC (Computer Aided Care)
For patients, the best possible care would be coordinated in near-real time through a collaborative effort of involved providers that makes the delivery of care more efficient, more effective and less burdensome to the patient. Technology can help bring about this kind of care, from our own Virtual Visits to the PACS system of radiology, which allows providers access to patient radiographs, removing a common headache and delay point for patients. As the promise of technology continues to unfold, we are seeing real collaborations on common post-acute or rehab diagnoses among PT groups, Home Health Care groups, case managers, payor and provider systems to name a few.
Gone are the days of heavy, bulky prosthetics and braces. A new generation of advanced materials such as carbon graphite and graphene are sparking a revolution in prosthetics. These materials are lighter, stronger and more flexible. They're able to store & release energy and use bio-physical shape properties to improve function and decrease the side effects of size, bulk, weight, heat retention and soft tissue disruption. We've seen the benefits of these materials in a number of ways, including the use of pre-pregs and modular layups for rigid/flexible designs that result in pre-manufactured bracing without the need for conventional thermoplastics.
Powered Assistive Technology
Technology that enhances the physical capabilities of the human body has been around since the atlatl, and today, it's improving lives like never before, from power knees in transfemoral prostheses that actually power your body upstairs or up from a chair to exoskeletons being used to restore support and mobility to those with spinal cord injuries or debilitating neurologic deficits.
Microprocessor/computerized user interfaces
At the intersection of powered assistive technology, CAD/CAM and advanced materials sits this exciting new category. While it has been adopted in lower extremity prosthetic knee and ankle units, some of the most pioneering work is being done with upper extremity prosthetic myoelectrics, which harness the normal human nerve impulse potential and magnify it into force to motor a prosthetic hand, elbow, shoulder unit. And perhaps most promising of all – if not yet quite ready for prime time – are investigational brain impulse controlling prosthetic interfaces, or “thought-controlled” prosthetic interfacing.
To find out how we can put technology to use to help improve patient care and quality of life, call us toll free at 1 877 538 8825 or email our office.