Studies show that properly fitting prosthetics lead to better overall usage of the artificial limbs. That’s why AT&T is working with orthotic and prosthetic provider Hanger Inc. to monitor patient fit in real-time—and even outside of a clinic—by developing the first standalone, network-connected prototype for prosthetic limbs.
Aaron Flores, Ph.D., Vice President of Hanger Clinic—the patient care subsidiary of Hanger—along with Andrew Dibello, Hanger’s manufacturing process and systems leader, worked with the AT&T Foundry for Connected Health, located in the TMC Innovation Institute, to enable artificial limbs to “talk” to the caregivers of patients.
“Being fit with an initial prosthesis is only the beginning of the patient’s mobility journey,” Flores said.
While Hanger doesn’t know who is and who isn’t wearing each prosthesis, they do know that the age and health of the individual at the time of the amputation, the level of the amputation and multiple major-limb amputations are factors that influence prosthetic usage, Flores and Dibello explained.
Therefore, if a prosthesis doesn’t fit, causes discomfort or provides bad mobility, the limb may end up in the closet rather than in use.
“Getting a new prosthetic typically means someone recently experienced a life-changing event, so they are facing a lot of physical and emotional challenges,” said Jessica Autrey, the Foundry’s business development lead. “However, research shows how important it is for a patient’s lifestyle to acclimate to a new prosthetic.”
The team designed the tracking prototype, which looks like a bracelet with a box on top, to attach to below-the-knee prostheses and sync to the cloud via AT&T’s network without requiring Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or a separate mobile device.
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Patients with higher prosthetic mobility noted higher quality of life and satisfaction, according to company data in “Mobility Analysis of AmpuTees (MAAT I): Quality of life and satisfaction are strongly related to mobility for patients with a lower limb prosthesis”—a paper published in the October 2017 Prosthetics and Orthotics International.
“Additional data supports the premise that receipt and use of a prosthesis ultimately reduces subsequent health care costs—so much so that the cost of the prosthesis is amortized in one year by reductions in emergency room visits and hospital admissions,” Dibello said. “Collectively, it appears that those individuals who have the potential to walk with a prosthesis but aren’t fit, or abandon the rehabilitation process, are less satisfied, report a lower quality of life and experience higher subsequent healthcare utilization and cost.”
With this new connectivity, the Hanger Clinic can receive data on a patient’s prosthetic usage and contact them to address any fit and comfort issues to facilitate increased mobility. Overall, this is expected to help Hanger better understand how each patient interacts with his or her prosthetic limb.
The patient and provider receive data through an application and web portals that capture an overall picture of how effectively a prosthesis is working. They receive status updates such as if the prosthesis is in use, how long the limb is worn, the number of steps taken and if the patient is walking, running or stable.
“After an amputation, patients often don’t know where to set their expectations regarding the comfort of their prosthesis or their daily activity levels,” Flores said. “Once they get their prosthesis, do they return to the lifestyle they had before their amputation or do they become more sedentary? If we want to help people establish reasonable expectations of themselves, we need to quantify daily activity levels and help them set objective targets, which is why we designed our prototype device to collect data that can assist with that.”
Return The Favor: Glowing green for Veterans https://t.co/w7LwFweRyD via @abc27News
@j_rodricks1 @MJEjags @katyisd We are so grateful for these blood donations. They make a huge difference in our cancer patients’ lives. Thank you.
Thousands of patients in need of heart surgery may soon have a new option. Read more: https://t.co/3p9SO6C3xz. https://t.co/PZ71Ui3vkB
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@MDMagazine Thanks for the shout-out
After a surprise diagnosis at age 36, Paula Carrillo finds success with overcoming stage 2A #colorectalcancer with Dr. Michael Overman: https://t.co/iVnpQGygSR #CancerMoonshot #endcancer
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Two of the graduate education programs at Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth were ranked among the highest in the nation in the just-released 2020 edition of the Best Graduate Schools guide by U.S. News and World Report.
Veteran reopens family business in Sweetwater https://t.co/no8JZ6xvjW via @MCADnews
Angiogenesis is the process of creating new blood vessels. Learn how angiogenesis inhibitors work in treating cancer: https://t.co/z42nWglE58 #endcancer
U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsVeteransAffairs
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Aida Nancy Sanchez. Aida served during the Vietnam War from 1952 to 1976.Aida was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico in November 1931. She graduated at the age of 15 and won a scholarship to attend St. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana. She graduated in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. Upon graduation, she applied and was accepted into the army physical therapy school program with an age waiver due to being under 21 at the time. Aida then headed to Fort Sam Houston, Texas to attend and graduate from the program in 1953. This is where she also met then General Dwight Eisenhower. Afterwards, she was assigned to the Brooke Army Medical Centre at Fort Sam Houston then to Fitzsimmons Army General Hospital in Denver, Colorado around 1956. During this assignment, Aida met President Eisenhower when he came to visit his friend whom was her patient. She stated that he remembered her from the physical therapy school and sent a pot of stew he made a day or two after the visit.After she completed her assignment at Fitzsimmons, she was sent to Rodriguez Army Hospital in Puerto Rico until she was discharged from active duty and went into the army reserves for two years. During that time, Aida worked for the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Illinois for a year before becoming the Director of the Bureau of Crippled Children within the Department of Health of Puerto Rico. During her time in Puerto Rico, she received a letter from the Department of Defense stating that they needed more physical therapists, so she decided to return to active duty. Her first assignment was the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center, then she was sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for a year or two. Afterwards, Aida was sent to Fort Myer, Virginia to establish a physical therapy clinic within the Andrew Rader Clinic at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Once setting up the unit, Aida was sent to graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and upon graduation was assigned to Letterman Army Medical Center to oversee the clinical affiliations of five universities located near the hospital.Aida’s next assignment was to become the assistant chief of physical therapy at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii before she received orders to deploy in support of the Vietnam War in 1970. She was originally sent to the Army hospital in Saigon to replace the physical therapist but was routed to the 95th Evacuation Hospital near Da Nang to establish the first physical therapy clinic within the hospital. During her tour of duty, Aida was extended to deploy to Cambodia and assist then President Lon Nol because she had previously helped him during his stay at the Tripler Army Medical Center. She was constantly flying back and forth between Vietnam and Cambodia to help the president get physically better. She assisted many American and Cambodian soldiers and citizens with their physical therapy needs while deployed. After Aida redeployed, she was sent to Fort Gordon as the chief physical therapist who oversaw the transfer of the physical therapy clinic from older barracks into the newly built Eisenhower Army Medical Center. It took about six years to complete the task and Aida retired as a Lieutenant Colonel shortly after with about 24 years of service.Thank you for your service, Aida!
Join us, @TexasChildrens and @SPARKforAutism at a Community Awareness Research Event for underrepresented communities this Saturday. Register here: https://t.co/uNhKL7aXnM #autism #autismresearch https://t.co/KBpDj7yRQD
Baylor College of MedicineBaylorCollegeOfMedicine
Learn how Dr. Lisa Hollier is helping to shine a spotlight on maternal mortality and working to make childbirth safer for women around the world. #OBGYN
MD Anderson Cancer CenterMDAnderson
"With all of this support and love, it’s difficult to not be positive. Of course, some days were harder than others. I still remember how weak I sometimes felt and how uncomfortable it was to wear a pump after chemo," says Paula Carrillo."Still, I won’t complain. Despite the sudden bad news, I got a second chance, thanks to my family, my friends and my team at MD Anderson." #endcancer