Print 42 comment(s) - last by mallums.. on Dec 13 at 4:36 AM

Eric Jones holding Lego block with ProDigits  (Source: Touch Bionics)
Device can cost over $70,000

Most of us take little things like holding a glass or brushing our teeth for granted. For some people who have lost hands or fingers, these tasks can be impossible to accomplish without help or specialized equipment.

A new generation of bionic fingers has been unveiled by a company called Touch Bionics. The company is developing advanced upper-limb bionic technologies and has announced the official launch of its ProDigits bionic finger. ProDigits are the world's first powered bionic solution for people who have lost fingers.

The ProDigits prosthetics are custom built for each application by clinicians to insure that they function ideally for the patient. ProDigits are controlled by using one of two methods. Either myoelectric sensors that register muscle signals from the residual finger or palm can be used or a pressure sensitive switch in the form of a force sensitive resistor or a touchpad can be used to control the fingers. The last approach relies on the remnant of the finger or the tissue surrounding the metacarpal bone to provide the necessary pressure to activate the finger.

One user of the ProDigits prosthetic Michael Bailey said, "Honestly, I had only put it [ProDigits] on for five minutes and I was getting it to work just fine. It feels like it belongs there, like it’s part of me."

The Telegraph reports that the ProDigits device costs between £35,000 and £45,000 and requires no surgery. That works out to roughly $57,000 to $73,000 USD. The chances of patients' insurance actually covering this prosthetic is slim meaning that the ProDigits system will be well out of the reach of most people who could benefit from the technology.

A range of coverings can be chosen by the patient including clear skins and a "livingskin" pattern that is natural looking. ProDigits hope to work with the National Health Service in the future for payments in Europe.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Lame
By philosofa on 12/10/2009 8:12:48 PM , Rating: 1
The research for this device (and its manufacture) was done in the UK - a country with a socialised health care system. Assuming you're not being sarcastic, your post is actually... just made of awesome and funny wrapped tightly together. Let me guess, you'd be a... republican? Perhaps one who has never had a passport and can't identify Canada on a worldmap - perhaps this could be an example of why you should jsut... try and 'know' more things?

p.s. yes Republicans as a whole can be great people, however those who believe government healthcare involves 'death panels' etc truly do deserve a fair bit of derision.

RE: Lame
By mallums on 12/13/2009 4:33:20 AM , Rating: 2
Uh, excuse me? Death panels exist. Private hospitals and public ones both have them. They are mostly ad hoc committees. My uncle was allowed to die because of the decision of such a committee. (Usually, they are called ethics boards. But they decide life and death.)

RE: Lame
By mallums on 12/13/2009 4:36:03 AM , Rating: 2
Let me make a correction. "Ethics boards" are not ad hoc so much. But still, they exist, and that is what they do.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki