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App lets amputees program their own bionic hands

Kathy Matheson (via AP/ SMH) | May 6, 2013
Double-amputee Jason Koger used to fly hundreds of miles to visit a clinician when he wanted to adjust the grips on his bionic hands. Now, he's got an app.

There have also been huge advances in computerized knees and feet, said Joe Reda, assistant director of orthotic and prosthetic services at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J.

"The changes are happening rather rapidly now and I think it's because of our wars overseas," said Reda. "The government is trying to put more money into research and development."

The i-limb ultra revolution costs about $100,000, though some insurance might cover it. Koger, who received his free in exchange for testing them and providing feedback, met Friday in Philadelphia with other amputees interested in the new technology.

Mark Dowling, 50, of Newark, Del., lost his arm to cancer several months ago. He said he cried while watching Koger demonstrate how the hand worked.

"I'm very touched with his story," Dowling said.

 

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