When it comes to medicine and healthcare, I am a major proponent of breakthroughs and advancements. Whether those breakthroughs come in the form of new surgical procedures, new medicines and vaccines or new technologies that will help propel the industry, and society, forward, I am always behind it. And in today’s technologically savvy world, there are several breakthroughs in tech, one of which that has the potential to change the face of medicine.
For decades, those who are missing appendages, for whatever reason, have had to change their lives considerably in order to cope with their amputation. And while prosthetic arms and legs can assist to some degree, they can never replace the real thing, so to speak. But now, that might all be changing.
According to a report from The Verge, scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been working hard on an advanced, mind-controlled prosthetic arm that can replace the current ones in use today. More importantly, the arm was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The arm has been dubbed the DEKA Arm.
The arm is a revolution in prosthetics. It works through electric signals from the brain picked up by electromyogram electrodes placed on the remaining portion of the human arm. The incredibly advanced computer can then take those signals and interpret the movement that the user wants to execute. According to test runs of the arm, users can perform actions once thought impossible for prosthetic arms, like picking up delicate objects without crushing them.
DARPA has invested approximately $40 million dollars into the DEKA Arm and the results speak for themselves. Hopefully, now that the arm has been approved by the FDA, it can be mass produced by a manufacturer and sold to amputees who are in dire need of it.
As a professional in the healthcare and medicine industry, I’ve seen just how badly an amputation can affect a person’s life. Revolutionary breakthroughs in medicine and technology are what this world needs. I for one am very excited to see just where the DEKA Arm can take us.