Interest in novel prosthetic control techniques
This study looked at upper limb amputees’ interest in new prosthetics. There was lower interest in anything that involved invasive surgery, especially involving the brain and a ceiling effect on the desired level of functionality.
Many upper limb amputees abandon their prosthetics, but may be interested in a new evolution of prosthesis. A survey was device to assess the population’s interest in certain types of prosthetics.
Of respondents who were not excluded, 72% were currently using a prosthetic and 55% deemed the use a necessity for everyday life. Less than half the users were satisfied with their functional abilities. However, 82% of non-users also showed dissatisfaction in their current functional ability.
Most interest was showing in Myoelectrical controlled prosthetics and very little in cortical interfaces. Many participants stated that this lack of interest was due to the brain surgery needed. However, for the myoelectric control there were also concerns raised about price, weight and durability.
The researchers were surprised to note that amputees were least interested in the most advanced performance level prosthesis and more moderate levels, stating a ceiling effect. The amputees general preferred a natural looking hand, which could perform a certain number of tasks well.
Video: First hand that can feel:
Would you undergo brain surgery if it improved your fine motor skills or if it meant you could feel again?
> From: Engdahl et al., J Neuroeng Rehabil 12 (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to 2015 Engdahl et al. Click here for the Pubmed summary.