11 Feb

Innovative Tech for Digit Amputees: Naked Prosthetics Body-Driven Devices

Innovative Tech for Digit Amputees: Naked Prosthetics Body-Driven Devices Innovative Tech for Digit Amputees: Naked Prosthetics Body-Driven Devices Innovative Tech for Digit Amputees: Naked Prosthetics Body-Driven Devices
 
The team at Naked Prosthetics identified a significant gap in prosthetic practices when it came to providing options for patients who had undergone an amputation of one or more fingers. The only solution for a long time had been cosmetic devices, despite the fact that digit loss is very common. However, cosmetic devices have very limited functional support, and are widely used to serve a psychological purpose. But now with the advances in CAD and manufacturing within the prosthetics industry, Naked Prosthetics have created devices which offer a durable, and most importantly functional, solution to a population of amputees who had previously been under-served.

With the majority of finger amputations being the result of an accident in the workplace, it is often common for the anatomical and functional characteristics of the amputation site to vary significantly from patient to patient. To accommodate this, the Naked Prosthetics team has created three devices which are all custom-made to an individual’s specific measurements and affected digit mobility. These measurements are then used to create bespoke rings which suspend the device off of the remaining residual digit, to provide the patient with an improved range of motion and strength where possible. The overall aim is to return the user’s ability to mimic natural hand motion, and combat the psychological and often psychosocial issues that often arise after an amputation.
 
Naked Prosthetics have found that their patients in the USA have experienced both functional and psychological benefits after being fitted with the devices. This was due to being able to return to work, feeling comfortable in social situations, and carrying out tasks such as using cutlery or tying their shoes unaided. Without the need for specialised training, unlike battery-powered devices, some patients even reported that the devices began to feel like an extension of their hand.
 
In order to record the effect of these devices on user’s lives, Naked Prosthetics followed up with various patients a year after being fitted with their device, to see who was still wearing them, how often, and why. They found that out of 102 patients, 95 were still wearing their device daily, with the majority stating it was down to the functionality of the prosthesis.
They also collected outcomes using an upper-extremity impairment assessment to evaluate function. The chart below displays the age, occupation, presentation, device fitted, wear time, and QuickDASH score change of five patients. The QuickDASH questionnaire was carried out before the device was fitted, and then eight weeks after. A lower score represents improved ability, with 0 = no impairment:


1. Partial Finger Amputation – A Review of Outcome Measure Data to Support Intervention with Naked Prosthetics’ Functional Finger Prostheses - Naked Prosthetics

The robust, exoskeletal design is designed to protect the hypersensitive amputation site without making any contact with it. This durability eliminates the worry of damaging the device and restores the user’s confidence when retuning back to work, particularly manual labour tasks, as it is resistant to a variety of elements including oil, water, dirt, and heat up to 175°C. This robust design combined with a reliable force output enables users to handle and manipulate objects - from carrying large heavy bags, to actions requiring fine grip and dexterity such as picking up a pound coin.

For more information on the devices please contact our Customer Services team at customerservices@steepergroup.com.

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