3D Printing has also left its mark on the world of prosthetics. 3D printing is a sustainable technology that can quickly and easily create inexpensive yet functional prosthetics. New prosthetics can also mimic natural movements by tracking muscular or nerve activity. Prosthetics for activities like sports have also been developed or are being perfected. Devices like powered full-body frames that can help paraplegics walk are also in development. These fully-powered frames, also called exoskeletons, could eventually replace walkers, crutches and orthotic devices like the Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (RGO).
There is now equal emphasis is on quality, functionality and comfort. Advanced seating technologies like suction pumps and silicon linings have made prosthetics more comfortable to wear in the long-run. The use of new-age materials like carbon-fibre and lightweight alloys have made lives easier for.
Research is also being conducted into neural technology that is, connecting to the mind via technology to allow functions that might have physical or environmental limitations. Recently, a quadriplegic, as part of a study conducted By the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) flew an F-35 jet via a simulator using nothing but her mind. A pair of neural transmitters converted her thoughts into computer commands, allowing her to fly the plane. Here’s the kicker: The participant in the study, Jan Scheuermann has never flown a plane before.
Prosthetic technology however, is not a standalone development. Various sciences and fields of study have been involved. Engineering, medical knowledge, the study of biological processes and even psychology have played a part. Advancements in computing, smaller, more efficient motors and batteries that last longer have aided prosthetic development. It remains to be seen how these developments will play out, though these advanced prosthetics have already proved their worth. Where this will lead to in the future remains to be seen.
Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics is committed to the comfort and care of our patients. We ensure that our patients get the best treatment possible, with the latest technology and advancements in prosthetics. Learn more about our products and services at www.cpousa.com or contact us at 888.676.2276