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NAMSR: News- FDA Approves robotic arm for amputees

The U.S. Food and Drug has approved a robotic arm for amputees that is named for the "Star Wars" character Luke Skywalker and can perform multiple, simultaneous movements, a significant advance over the metal hook currently in use.

 
PRLog - Aug. 27, 2014 - ARLINGTON, Va. -- The FDA said it allowed the sale of the DEKA Arm System after reviewing data, including a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study in which 90 percent of people who used the device were able to perform complex tasks. These included using keys and locks, feeding themselves, using zippers and brushing and combing hair.

The prosthetic arm was developed by Manchester, N.H.-based DEKA Research and Development Corp., founded by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and other devices.

The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency provided more than $40 million in funding to DEKA to develop the robotic arm as part of a $100 million project to improve prosthetics. "It was designed to produce near-natural upper extremity control to injured people who have suffered amputations. This arm system has the same size, weight, shape and grip strength as an adult's arm would be able to produce," Justin Sanchez, a program manager in DARPA's biological technologies office, told Reuters.

The FDA said the device is the first prosthetic arm that can carry out multiple, simultaneous movements controlled by signals from electromyogram electrodes that detect electrical activity caused as a person contracts muscles. The electrodes send signals to a computer processor in the arm, which can then make up to 10 specific movements using a combination of switches and sensors.

"The DEKA Arm System may allow some people to perform more complex tasks than they can with current prostheses in a way that more closely resembles the natural motion of the arm," Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement. The Pentagon's involvement came about because of the type of injuries sustained by U.S. troops in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Pentagon said more than 1,800 U.S. service members underwent major limb amputations as a result of injuries sustained in those wars.

"This prosthetic limb system can pick up objects as delicate as a grape, as well as being able to handle very rugged tools like a hand drill," Sanchez said.

Until now, the best technology available to troops and other who lost an arm was a metal hook, Sanchez said. "The metal hook was the most commonly used prosthetic device for the last hundred years."

DEKA said on its website that the arm is dubbed "Luke" after Luke Skywalker, the character whose hand is sliced off in a duel and is replaced with a robotic version in the 1980 film, "The Empire Strikes Back."

The FDA said the robotic arm could be used by people with limb loss occurring at the shoulder joint, mid-upper arm or mid-lower arm, but not at the elbow or wrist joint.

In the Veterans Affairs study, 36 people provided data on the arm's performance of common household and self-care tasks.

CANDIDATES WHO WANT TO BREAK INTO MEDICAL SALES:

RMSR® Medical Sales Certification offered by the National Association of Medical Sales Representatives is designed for entry level medical device sales reps. The course covers a wide array of topics pertaining to industry knowledge that candidates need to acquire before applying to medical sales positions.

The course and training helps to develop the industry skills, maximizing the candidates’ potential and goals, as well as making them feel valued and stimulated in their role when communicating with members of the medical community. By an applicant acquiring medical sales training and a RMSR Certification, it puts him/her in a position of strength and qualifies them for medical sales jobs. Medical knowledge is key in this industry and when communicating with doctors, surgeons, and nurses etc.

It is extremely important for representatives to use key terminology pertaining to the medical product he/she will be promoting. The only way to succeed in this industry is to garner actual sales. Doctors and Surgeons will not acknowledge a Sales Rep who is not proficient in essential medical terminology, knowledgeable of medical devices/equipment and the anatomy. For those lacking a solid sales background the RMSR course covers knowledge of medical selling techniques and regulation such as Effective Territory Management, Effective Networking, Medical Sales Ethical & Regulatory Guidelines and more.

The National Association of Medical Sales Representative™ (NAMSR) is the largest professional association in the world for Medical Sales Representatives. Through our numerous members, the NAMSR™ provides accredited training, continuing education, information about the industry, up-to-date news, programs to assist medical sales reps in their work, training programs to assist candidates who want to break into the industry and initiatives to improve communication with the medical sales field.

For more information on the NAMSR or the RMSR certification visit www.medicalsalescareer.com or call 800-313-9198

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