Monday, July 30, 2007
Touch Bionics, developer of the world's first commercially available bionic hand, today announced that its i-LIMB Hand and ProDigits partial hand prostheses are now generally available and have been successfully fitted to a significant number of patients across the United States and in Europe.Touch Bionics' i-LIMB Hand looks and acts like a real human hand and is the world's first widely available prosthetic device with five individually powered digits. In another industry first, Touch Bionics' ProDigits product is adapted for patients who have a partial hand, due either to congenitally missing fingers or fingers lost through an accident. Partial hand is an area of prosthetics that has been without suitable powered products in the past.The i-LIMB Hand and ProDigits will be formally unveiled later this month at the 12th World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics in Vancouver, Canada. But Touch Bionics' technology is already changing the lives of patients with its prosthetic products, working with leading U.S. clinical partners including Advanced Arm Dynamics, Benchmark Orthotics and Prosthetics, Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, LIVINGSKIN and Scott Sabolich Prosthetics and Research.Sergeant U.S. Army (ret'd.) Juan Arredondo of Universal City, TX, who lost his hand in Iraq in 2004 after his patrol vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device, is one patient who today is living a different life after being fitted with the i-LIMB Hand.The technology behind the i-LIMB Hand has come of age after many years of research and development at Touch Bionics.The i-LIMB Hand offers a unique, highly intuitive control system that uses a traditional myoelectric signal input to open and close the hand's life-like fingers. Myoelectric controls utilize the electrical signal generated by muscles in the remaining portion of a patient's limb. This signal is picked up by electrodes that sit on the surface of the skin. Users of existing, basic myoelectric prosthetic hands are able to quickly adapt to the system and can master the device's new functionality within minutes. For new patients, the i-LIMB Hand offers a multi-function prosthetic solution that has never before been available.Touch Bionics has developed a custom cosmesis, or covering, for its products. i-LIMB Skin is a thin layer of semi-transparent material that has been computer-modeled to accurately wrap to every contour of the hand.For those patients who desire a more life-like appearance for the hand, Touch Bionics has partnered with some leading companies in the development of cosmesis for its products. ARTech Laboratories and LIVINGSKIN work at the forefront of high-definition cosmesis -- these companies are collaborating with Touch Bionics to offer patients a life-like solution to compliment the life-like motions and performance of the hand.The i-LIMB Hand and ProDigits products are being shipped today and patients are being fitted at all of the clinics mentioned above in addition to other US clinics, as well as at Touch Bionics' new state-of-the-art facility in Livingston, Scotland.