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Robotic Arm Approved by FDA, Identified by MD Buyline as an Emerging Technology

On Friday, May 9, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first prosthetic arm developed by DEKA and funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). “This innovative prosthesis provides a new option for people with certain kinds of arm amputations,” said Ms. Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. According to DEKA, the robotic arm “Luke,” named after the Star Wars character Luke Skywalker, intends to restore functionality for individuals with upper extremity amputations.

In January 2014, MD Buyline recognized DEKA as a vendor with an emerging technology in the neuro interface/brain computer interface space. As part of its annual “Top 10 Emerging Technology Opportunities” report, MD Buyline provided clinical and financial insight to healthcare executives and clinicians about technological breakthroughs, including prosthetic limbs. Co-authored by Mr. James Laskaris, emerging technology analyst at MD Buyline, and Ms. Katie Regan, clinical publishing manager at MD Buyline, the article was published by HFMA in a two-part series.

“In recent years, government funding through DARPA has allowed neurologic interfaces and prosthetic limbs to rapidly move through clinical trials, which gives hope to the near two million Americans, like military veterans, living with limb loss,” said Ms. Regan.

“Current prosthetic arms offer limited mobility, lack tactile feedback and require up to 30% more energy. A major improvement for patients, the DEKA Arm System will act very close to a natural arm, offering the ability to grasp objects big and small,” said Mr. Laskaris.

“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,” said Ms. Foreman.

Download the article “Top 10 Emerging Technology Opportunities of 2014: Part Two” that highlights DEKA.

About MD Buyline

Healthcare providers recognize MD Buyline as the leading provider of evidence-based information and research. By creating transparency and fostering consultative relationships, MD Buyline has partnered with providers for more than three decades to identify cost reduction opportunities for purchased services, consumables, capital and IT. Providers rely on MD Buyline’s data and clinical analysts for financial and clinical insight to reach long- and short-term goals. For more information, please visit www.mdbuyline.com, and follow MD Buyline on Twitter, @MDBuyline.

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