The world of prosthetics took top billing on a recent episode of “The Doctors.”
The episode, which aired March 11, featured Randall Alley, BSc, CP, LP, FAAOP, chief executive officer of biodesigns inc. and Practitioner Advisory Council member of O&P Business News, and his patient, Telisa Boston, in its opening segment.
In 2008, Alley fit Boston, who lost her right arm below the elbow at 16 years old because of a rare tumor, with Touch Bionics’ i-LIMB hand, her first functional device after years of cosmetic prostheses. The two appeared on “The Doctors” to comment on the effect this device and other upcoming prosthetic technology have on the lives of amputees.
“Coverage like this gives a more realistic impression of the teamwork involved in a patient’s rehabilitation and will hopefully encourage individuals to consider pursuing O&P as career choice,” Alley told O&P Business News.
On the episode, Alley explained how new technology allows upper extremity amputees much more freedom than they have had in the past. He said he hopes that exposure extends beyond flashy new devices, however.
“We in the profession all know there’s so much more involved in what we do than merely attaching a high tech hand or knee, and yet time and time again, this is the focus of the piece and ultimately becomes the focus of a prospective patient’s first visit to the office,” he said.
If shows such as this allow the O&P practitioner to present an accurate representation of what is involved in an orthotic or prosthetic appointment — instead of merely going for what Alley calls “a sexy story” — then viewers will receive the correct information and the profession will avoid the confusion that often follows an overly hyped prosthetic or orthotic device, he said.
The episode, titled “Futuristic Medicine That Can Change Your Life,” also highlighted other medical interventions once deemed futuristic, such as a bionic pancreas, a robot used for autism therapy and the world’s smallest spinal cord stimulator for chronic pain.