Mobile technology could improve user, prosthesis interaction

NEW ORLEANS — Modern, innovative technology could enhance features and improve user interaction with multi-articulating prosthetic hands, according to a speaker here at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium.

Lynsay Whelan, MS, OTR/L, director of remote training and occupational therapy at Touch Bionics, said the use of smartphone applications in prosthetic therapy could help users gain familiarity with prosthesis options and are beneficial for users who cannot access certain triggers. They also offer simplified features, portability and quick access to grip patterns or certain modes.


Lynsay Whelan


“[This technology] can expand functionality, particularly for someone who only has one muscle site or has to use different muscle triggers to change the elbow,” she said.

Grip chips, or Bluetooth devices, can also expand functionality, she added. They are low power, can communicate with i-limb hand devices and offer access to multiple groups of control.

Whelan said that while complex prosthetic systems and lack of proper training could lead to user rejection, mobile-based applications offer improved function of externally powered devices.

“There are so many options available that can be customized to individual goals, tech savviness and what is going to be most appropriate for that patient.

“But providing a limb should not be about just adding a bunch of new features to the device. It should be about making the device more patient centered and customizable. Mobile technology is a way to do that.” – by Shawn M. Carter


Whelan L. Paper F4. Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium; Feb. 18-21, 2015; New Orleans.

Disclosure: Whelan reports no relevant financial disclosures.



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