Researchers at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom have teamed up with prosthetics and orthotics supplier, Chas A Blatchford & Sons, to create a lower-limb prosthesis that can adjust to fit the changing shape of the residual limb, according to a press release.
The researchers have incorporated wireless technology into a self-learning system that will measure interactions between socket and the residual limb during prosthetic fitting and wear. By miniaturizing the technology to make it light and portable, the prosthesis should reduce medical costs for amputees because it will be fitted correctly the first time, according to the designers. The prosthesis is expected to help active duty amputee soldiers return to service, rather than retiring early.
“It is very much in the research and development stage,” Bryce Dyer, the senior lecturer in product design at Bournemouth University, stated in the release. “Many prosthetic limbs remain unused simply because they can be so uncomfortable over time. [However], one of the great things about our industrial partnership [with Chas A Blatchford & Sons] is that we will be able to get feedback from the very kind of people we are trying to help.”