Technology is continually changing everyday life for people around the world, arguably in both good ways and bad. One of the bright spots when it comes to advancing technology is in the world of healthcare, specifically the development of prosthetic and orthotic devices. Read on to learn about some of the latest advancements in prosthetic and orthotic technology.
Neuromuscular signal technology
One of the most exciting prosthetic technology developments that’s currently in progress is neuromuscular signal technology. This exciting group of innovations will allow prosthetic limbs to function much more like natural ones. Instead of putting the burden on patients to train their prostheses to incorporate specific movements, neuromuscular signal technology helps prosthetics function like real limbs right from the start. While still many years away from widespread commercial use, neuromuscular signal technology is an incredible development that’s set to improve the everyday lives of people who use prosthetic devices.
Cutting-edge prosthetic technology includes microprocessor-controlled prosthetics. These prosthetics are an update to traditional mechanical prosthetics, imitating the way body parts work together to give the wearer a greater freedom of movement. A microprocessor within the prosthetic is able to mimic in great detail the natural movements of a person. They’re able to match a person’s walking gait and provide smooth and natural motions. Even simple activities like standing, walking and climbing stairs are much easier for patients. There are several sensors within these prosthetic devices that constantly direct motion with incredible precision.
While these devices do require charging, a full charge lasts a long time, and the device will switch back into a traditional mechanical mode if the batteries die while the device is in use.
3D printing has truly changed the game in the prosthetic field. Researchers are currently investigating innovative design options that harness 3D printing technology, including prosthetics featuring honeycomb grids that are durable enough to use for playing sports. New technologies are allowing patients to actually express their own personalities in the design of their prosthetics while providing durability and enhanced freedom of movement.
Orthotic technology is progressing at a quick pace, particularly in terms of customizability. It takes a lot of complex steps to create high-quality custom-made orthotics. To start, incredibly detailed measurements are taken into account for a patient’s specific needs, including alignment, range of motion and even walking gait. A cast is made using the measurements, and the product is hand-built based on the mold. Your service provider will ensure a perfect, comfortable fit.
While traditional orthotic solutions followed more of a one-size-fits-all philosophy, the customization process continues to revolutionize the industry and provide greater comfort and quality of life for patients.
Prosthetic technology has come a long way in recent years, and new technologies continue to improve wearability and comfort of prosthetic and orthotic devices. If you need a custom prosthetic or orthotic of your own, contact Prothotic Laboratories, Inc. As an experienced fabrication lab using the latest technologies, we can provide you with a better quality of life and enhanced comfort every day.