New Tech Will Help Patients With Prosthetics
23 May 2018

Recruiting for both the tech world and health and social care, we are committed to understanding and sharing innovative news regarding the intersection of these fantastic industries. This week, some positive news has come to light as advancements in tech could lead to more sophisticated and smarter prosthetics for disabled people, as well as contributing to fields like gaming and computer-aided design.

State-of-the-art prosthetics

Research recently conducted by North Carolina State University has lead to new tech being implemented for the aid of prosthetic wrists and hands, focusing on greater understanding of neuromuscular signals. This tech revolves around computer models that learn to mimic the natural movements of muscles and ligaments in the hand, wrists and forearm, syncing them with neuromuscular signals for increased scope of movement and more realistic bionics.

Huang, who is senior author of a paper on the work says, "We wanted to focus on what we already know about the human body, this is not only more intuitive for users, it is also more reliable and practical”.

In order to create this, researchers placed electromyography sensors on the forearms of six able-bodied volunteers and monitored neuromuscular signals that could then be understood by the prosthetic to create calculated movements that don’t have to rely on pre-programmed states.

 

Improvement in healthcare

This new tech could have the ability of enhancing the lives of millions with disabilities, and streamlining the difficulties encountered by those using prosthetics, especially for the first time. They would also allow greater movement and control, eliminating clunky, slow moving design by focusing instead on natural movements dictated by the brain. They are seeking further volunteers to conduct more testing and hopefully more feedback before clinical trials.

 

The future of tech

As well as using these applications to help prosthetic design, they could also extend to computer-aided design and gaming, increasing the immersive qualities of the rising VR/AR industries for able-bodied people. Huang also says, "This could be used to develop computer-interface devices for able-bodied people as well. Such as devices for gameplay or for manipulating objects in CAD programs."

 

For more information, take a peek at the original article from Science Daily.

 

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