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Touch Bionics Realistic Prostheses

  • Published: 2013-05-06 - Contact: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Touch Bionics prosthetic technologies provides products and services to people whether they are new amputees, experienced prosthetic users or people who have been missing a limb since birth.

Definition: Prostheses

Prostheses - A device designed to replace a missing part of the body or to make a part of the body work better. Diseased or missing eyes, arms, hands, legs, or joints are commonly replaced by prosthetic devices.

Main Document

"Using the hand's vari-grip and pulsing features, the i-limb ultra is the only prosthetic hand with the ability to gradually increase the strength of its grip on an object"

Touch Bionics provides world-leading prosthetic technologies as well as supporting services that are designed to achieve positive outcomes for people who experience upper limb deficiencies. The company's products include myoelectric prosthetic hand and prosthetic finger solutions, and passive silicone prostheses that closely match the natural appearance of the person. The company provides products and services to people whether they are new amputees, experienced prosthetic users, or people who have been missing a limb since birth.

An amputation is a traumatic event; adjusting to life with an amputation is a challenge. It can take time and support to move forward afterward. Help is available and there is a range of prosthetic options available despite the nature of a person's amputation.

The Art and Science of Prosthetics

Prosthetics is the art and science of creating artificial replacements for parts of a person's body. An artificial limb is called a, 'prosthesis.' A prosthesis may be designed to provide a person with functional or cosmetic benefits. A prosthesis might be attached to a person's residual limb through a number of methods. The process does not require surgery.

The decision of whether or not to wear a prosthesis is an important one. A number of people with an amputation adapt quickly to it and find new ways to continue with their activities of daily living, pursue an active lifestyle, and to meet the challenges they face. Some people with amputations reach the conclusion that they do not need a prosthesis. For others, using a prosthesis may be a way to gain independence and confidence in daily life.

The Appearance of a Prosthesis

Some people who have a limb loss feel the most important feature of a prosthesis is for it to closely resemble the limb they have lost. The function of their prosthesis might not be as important to them and a passive prosthesis that appears natural, yet does not move or grasp, might be the best solution for them. If this is how the person feels, a natural-appearing passive device might help. Passive devices still have a functional element, allowing for actions including pulling, pushing, supporting, stabilizing, typing, light grasping and other actions.

People who desire a prosthesis that is designed to help them grasp and maneuver objects might want to consider an active prosthesis. An active prosthesis is designed to help increase a person's independence and there are several options available - ranging from body-powered hands and hooks to advanced electrically-powered prosthetic fingers, arms, or hands. Touch Bionics also has a range of activity specific attachments to allow people to connect directly to items such as kayak oars, baseball bats, musical instruments and more.

Offerings from Touch Bionics

Touch Bionics strongly believes in a comprehensive approach to the care of people and works closely with clinicians all over the world to determine whether or not a person is a good candidate for an advanced prosthesis such as their, 'i-limb digits,' or, 'i-limb ultra,' or if they are better suited to a passively functional prosthesis such as, 'livingskin.' The company provides people with the information and support they need to make the best decision.

Touch Bionics and i-Limb Digits

'i-Limb Digits,' is a fully customized electronic prosthesis for people who are missing fingers or partial hands. With i-limb digits, anywhere from 1 to 5 missing fingers may be replaced using one of Touch Bionics' individually powered prosthetic digits. The digits, which move independently and bend at the joints, work in conjunction with any of a person's remaining fingers to help them increase their functional abilities.

Each person with missing digits is a unique individual, and each i-limb digits solution is custom made to fit the person. There are a number of ways to create an i-limb digits prosthesis, although the goal is always the same - to provide the person with a solution that will increase their independence and function.

The Touch Bionics i-Limb Ultra Prosthetic Hand

The i-limb ultra prosthetic hand is designed for people who want more from their prosthesis. With the i-limb ultra, the prosthesis moves and looks more like a natural hand than any other powered prosthetic hand. Each of the fingers bends at the natural joints so it may accurately adapt to fit around the shape of objects the person wants to grasp.

The i-limb ultra is powered by Touch Bionics' unique, 'biosim,' software. It is the most versatile prosthetic hand available and provides people with the ability to customize the hand for their daily needs. People can choose from a broad selection of automated gestures and grips to assist them with completing daily tasks, such as index point for typing, natural hand position for walking or while at rest, or precision pinch mode for gripping small objects.

Using the hand's vari-grip and pulsing features, the i-limb ultra is the only prosthetic hand with the ability to gradually increase the strength of its grip on an object. The features can be very useful in situations where a firmer grip is needed, such as with tying shoelaces tightly, or holding a heavy bag more securely. The i-limb ultra has a number of features which include:

  • Two-year standard warranty
  • I-limb skin natural coverings
  • Low battery warning audio signal
  • Three new tripod grips for increased user flexibility
  • Auto grasp feature to prevent objects from slipping
  • Dedicated clinical support for therapists and prosthetists
  • Gesture selection allowing users to create custom gestures
  • Power management that extends daily battery usage by 25%
  • Hand automatically moves to a natural position after a period of inactivity
  • Patent-pending, 'vari-grip mode,' which allows variable digit-by-digit grip strength
  • Upgraded, 'biosim-i,' and, 'biosim-pro,' control software with powerful new features

Touch Bionics and LivingSkin

'Livingskin,' from Touch Bionics might be an option for people who are concerned about the appearance of their prosthesis. The product is hand crafted from high definition silicone and hand painted to match skin tone and appearance. Livingskin prostheses are highly realistic. Touch Bionics takes care to ensure the detail of the product making it very remarkable. The company introduces features such as hairs, freckles, and tattoos.

Along with the realistic appearance of the livingskin products, it is important to bear in mind that passive prostheses like these still have important functional capabilities. The capabilities include actions that include pulling, pushing, supporting, stabilizing, typing, and light grasping. Livingskin prosthesis are designed to be unnoticed, and Touch Bionics can create livingskin prostheses for parts of fingers, whole fingers, entire arms and hands.

Citations and Resources:

Touch Bionics
www.touchbionics.com

Touch Bionics is a provider of world-leading prosthetic technologies and supporting services designed to achieve positive outcomes for people with upper limb deficiencies.

The First App-Controlled Bionic Hand
www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/first-app-controlled-bionic-hand

Wearers can push one button for complex movements like right-clicking a mouse and picking up a pen.

Touch Bionics' latest 'i-limb' offers a powered rotating thumb, smartphone controls
www.engadget.com/2013/04/11/touch-bionics-ilimb-ultra-revolution-hand/

Touch Bionics' i-limb prosthetic hand has advanced quite a bit in recent years, adding features like Bluetooth connectivity and upgraded fingers.

Related:

  1. VA Transitions from Traditional Prosthetics to Personal Bionics - Personal bionics originally are dramatically changing the life of amputees and reducing the complexity of their life care planning - (Published 2013-02-12).
  2. Synthetic Plastic Skin - Touch-sensitive and Heals Itself - New synthetic skin like material that can sense subtle pressure and heal itself when torn or cut - (Published 2012-11-13).
  3. The New Breed of Affordable Artificial Limbs - Artistic artificial limbs that allow amputees to get their mobility and shape back but also turn their bodies into a sculpture - (Published 2012-10-12).









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