For my research on current events, I’ve focused on two articles that reveal new technology that will influence products created for people with physical disabilities. First, Microsoft has patented technology that allows a user to navigate applications with only their mind. The device works by interpreting signals from the brain and can be customized to interpret signals in different ways, thus responding with different operations within an app. This is similar to mapping a controller with custom controls in a video game. Future implications include use for prosthetic limbs, virtual reality, and video games.
The other article I read was about a product that is being prototyped by the GEAR (Game Enhancing Augmented Reality) team. It is a wearable video game controller that goes on a person’s feet, just like a sandal or pair of shoes. Currently, the system allows for 8 different “buttons” all of which are customizable and allows users to play convevideonal vieo games with no disadvantage. The team is excited to help bring back a normal part of many peoples lives to people who have suffered a debilitating injury. They love that in video games, everyone has an equal playing field. This innovation is exciting and will help people with loss of limbs enjoy video games in the future.
Standards and Best Practices:
- Surgery- procedural guidelines for proper limb removal
- Post-surgery care- caring for amputated area
- Fitting of prosthetics- Guidelines for limb fitting
- *No one gold standard for how to function with only one arm.
- Training- Suggestions on how to do everyday activities using a prosthetic arm or an arm rendered useless from injury or stroke.
Examples of Suggestions:
- Shoelaces- Velcro Fastenings, Elastic Laces, Slip on shoes
- Method for tying using ring, index, and middle finger and thumb; from video reference.
- Teeth- Toothpaste Dispensers, Flip lid toothpaste, Place toothbrush or hold in mouth while putting on toothpaste, Squeeze toothpaste in mouth before-hand, hold between knees for twist off cap removal.
- Occupational Therapy– Assess and adapt environment of home, help cultivate integration, assess return to work, try to stimulate successful long-term return to work.
- Physiotherapy– Strength, flexibility, stability, core stability in order to adequately support a prosthetic limb; help reduce pain of using a prosthetic
- Research in this field– leads to new, and refined techniques for rehabilitation and adaptation to life after amputation; Prosthetic development
- Suggestions– Lever Taps, mounted bath sponge, mounted shower soaps, dishwasher installment, suction cup dish sponge
- Equipment– Various equipment to help: compressive garments, RRD’s or Rigid Removable Dressings, Cutlery adaptations, plate guards, no slip matting for plates, Button hook for doing buttons with one hand, sock-aid, many more…
The Major Causes of Limb Amputations:
- Severe injury (from a vehicle accident or serious burn, for example)
- Cancerous tumor in the bone or muscle of the limb
- Serious infection that does not get better with antibiotics or other treatment
- Thickening of nerve tissue, called a neuroma
How many people get limb amputations?
- There are over 50,000 amputations every year
- Of 350,000 with amputations 30% have upper limb loss
- Congenital Limb accounts for 8.9% of amputations
- Trauma accounts for 77% of amputations
- Tumors account for 8.2% of amputations
One handed bottle opener:
- This helps all people, regardless if they are missing their right or left limb, to be able to open bottles.
- The product features a magnet to catch the top of the bottle once opened additionally it has a finger hole that allows for the user to place pressure on the bottle cap and open it effortlessly.
- The reviews for this product are great on websites such as Amazon.
One handed pepper grinder:
- This allows for people with one hand to grind pepper more easily.
- Traditional pepper grinders are a twisted fashion, forcing the user to place one hand at thetop half of the device and the other at the bottom. This product eliminates the need for two hands.
- Some reviews notice the product is made quite cheaply which causes the handles to breakoff. However they do note they continue to buy the product again regardless because of its effectiveness.
- This product is for sale on Amazon and has great reviews for the products design and function.
Zipper and button assistance:
- This product is designed to help those with one hand button and zip their clothing. It has a hook to pull a zipper. Additionally it has an arm stretching out from the opposing end that reaches through a button hole, grabs a button, and pulls it through.
- Buttoning and zipping clothing is something most humans do daily without thinking twice about. However, this can be a huge challenge for those that only have one hand. The act of zipping and butting both require two hands to be done as simply as they were designed otherwise they prove to be an grueling task.
These are just three examples of products that are designed entirely for those missing a limb. There are many more, even entire websites dedicated for products of this nature. Additionally, all of the products listed were given great reviews and do their job extremely well. While many products have room for improvement, the three listed above are examples of those that preform their job well.