Prothesis - Finsbury (Development) Limited

Participants at the 2006 State-of-the-Science (SOS) Meeting in Prosthetics and Orthotics (sponsored by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research and held at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine; ) identified a wide range of research priority areas that spanned the continuum from product development to identifying the predictors of successful prosthetic wear to improving education for prosthetists fitting complex prostheses [1]. The majority of SOS recommendations related to upper-limb prosthetics focused on expanding the capabilities and control inputs for prosthetic technologies; in other words, the development and evaluation of new prosthetic devices. Clearly, product development research was identified as a high priority for the field.


Development of novel 3D-printed robotic prosthetic for transradial amputees

Advancing prosthetics development with 3D printing

A distinctive feature of prosthetic device development is the need to evaluate the device, not only for the amputee's use but also in terms of how easily and proficiently clinical staff (e.g., prosthetists, therapists) use the device, i.e., staff can fit and setup the device and train amputees in its optimal use. If clinicians find it difficult to prescribe, fit, or configure the prosthetic device or refine the setup and train a patient with it, amputee users may experience greater problems with the device. Thus, it is important to consider clinicians as well as amputees as subjects in usability research studies.

Center for Limb Loss and MoBility

The question of how many subjects is "enough" for usability research is an ongoing issue in usability testing and user interface discussions. In all research, the cost of development and testing must be weighed against the potential benefits of the knowledge to be gained. The expense of manufacturing research and development versions of prototype devices for study and the complexity of using the new devices is a major factor limiting study size. In addition, available research funding for new devices often limits study size. In prosthetics, the amount of time it takes to fit subjects with prosthetic sockets (if necessary) and train them in the use of a new device adds to the cost of conducting such studies. There is a need to balance the costs of producing new devices for testing and/or experimental prosthetic control procedures with having a large enough sample to test for usability.

To a very large extent, this has been accomplished for severe  through the development of  replacement prosthesis.

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At the later stages of device development, outcome measures need to address broader areas, such as performance of specific tasks and use in everyday activities. Thus, objective measurements, such as timed dexterity tests, often used as outcomes in studies of upper-limb amputees, need to be supplemented by assessments of the amputee's experience to understand which changes "make a real difference in the lives of patients" [34]. Of particular importance in assessment of prosthetic usability is the patient's perspective on the usefulness of the device for performing everyday functions, as well as the comfort and fit of their prosthetic limb, their health-related quality of life, and their mobility.

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The ULPOM also acknowledged that selection of measures should be matched to the type of research being conducted and targeted to the stage of development of the prosthesis (). Thus, the most appropriate assessments to use at the earliest stage of prosthesis development include technical measures of grip force, speed, etc.

Volume 48 Number 6, 2011 Pages 697 — 706. Development and testing of new upper-limb prosthetic devices: Research designs for usability testing


Capable of effectuating almost all of the movements as a human arm and hand and with more than 100 sensors in the hand and upper arm, the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) is the world’s most sophisticated upper-extremity prosthesis. There are currently six MPLs being used for neurorehabilitation research across the United States, with four more in development.

Prothesis definition: a process in the development of a language by which a phoneme or syllable is prefixed to..

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Development cycle of prostheses, from research through daily use (black). International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health components of assessment for prostheses and their location within development cycle (gray). Adapted from Hill W, Stavdahl O, Hermansson LN, Kyberd P, Swanson S, Hubbard S. Functional out-comes in the WHO-ICF model: Establishment of the Upper Limb Prosthetic Outcome Measures Group. J Prosthet Orthot. 2009;21(2): 115???19.