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Newly Advanced Prothestic Arm Tested on Patients

An advanced prothestic system known as Coapt will allow more control strategies and function based on muscle detection and pattern recognition.
Photo courtesy of: www.coaptengineering.com
Photo courtesy of: www.coaptengineering.com

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - It is amazing what technology can do nowadays from cell phones to computers to even prothestic arms.

One company found themselves testing their new product on patients, a prothestic arm known as "Coapt." It is the first of its kind in the world and one Hagerstown man already gave it a try.

It relies on muscle signals and pattern recognition to make movement.

"Our technology brings that to the modern era and applies what we call pattern recognition. Very similar to voice recognition that you might have on a smartphone or facial recognition. This pattern recognition recognizes muscle pattern signals," said Blair Lock, Coapt representative.

The new system was tested on a select few to ensure its potential before it is released to everyone.

"To show its perfect for the user, the last we want to do is have an amputee user go home to their daily life and have a technology burdensome in any way," said Lock.

It is aimed to improve control strategy such as offering more options to move the hand.

Eric Ruffner, 40, of Hagerstown was impressed with its wrist movement. Ruffner says he has not moved his wrist in almost nine years but that will now change.

"I'm excited. I'm really excited. I see a lot of potential for some better quality of life, able to do some things that I wasn't able to do in the past," said Ruffner.

Coapt was developed from funding through the Department of Defense, a move expected to impact civilian patients.

"We actually have multiple sensors we can put on the patients' limb and gather a whole lot more information so the quality of signal is a lot better and then also, we can control more degrees of freedom," said Ruffner. 

Coapt says they wish to test this system on more patients in March. For more information on how it works, click here.



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