Touch Bionics upgrades i-LIMB Pulse bionic hand

8 June 2010

Touch Bionics has launched a new version of its revolutionary i-LIMB bionic hand. The i-LIMB Pulse is a significant advance for the i-LIMB product line, with enhancements including pulsing grip strength, software-enabled grip patterns and robust aluminium features for improved strength.

The i-LIMB Pulse is offered in addition to the existing i-LIMB Hand, and both products are available to customers depending on the patients’ preferences.

“Having experienced over three years in the market with the i-LIMB Hand, we have gathered unparalleled insight into the needs and requirements of users of upper extremity prosthetic devices” said Stuart Mead, Touch Bionics’ CEO.

“This has contributed significantly to the development of the i-LIMB Pulse — for example, we know that the majority of users, whether male or female, prefer a device with natural body lines, so we invested considerable time in miniaturizing components and internal structures to offer two sizes that will accommodate almost all user preferences.”

The i-LIMB Pulse is so called because it utilises Touch Bionics’ patented pulsing technology to provide increasing and controllable grip strength. When the i-LIMB Pulse closes on an object, the user has the option to use the pulsing feature to apply significant additional grip force, allowing the device to grasp an object more tightly. These high-frequency electronic pulses are very important in everyday activities for users, such as tying shoelaces or doing-up a belt.

With an aluminium chassis, the i-LIMB Pulse’s robust design features make it Touch Bionics’ toughest prosthetic device yet, capable of carrying a load of up to 90kg.

“The i-LIMB Pulse is a very exciting technology development, particularly for someone like myself, who is looking to get back to a level of duty in the fire service,” said Ian Reid, a firefighter from Thurso in Scotland, who lost his right hand in a tragic holiday bus crash in 2003, and the first person to be fitted with an i-LIMB Pulse. “The pulsing effect, increased robustness and range of grip features will hopefully give me the increased level of function I’m looking for.”

With a range of automated features that allow various combinations of grip patterns and other digit-postures to be activated by the user, the i-LIMB Pulse offers an unparalleled degree of flexibility to its users. Patterns like index point, precision pinch, lateral key grip and three jaw chuck (tripod) are all now easily activated in a single action by the user.

Key to the i-LIMB Pulse is BioSim, Touch Bionics’ new Bluetooth-enabled software that allows prosthetists and, for the first time ever, users (using MyBioSim) to select the features and control strategies that work best for them.

 BioSim is a complete software toolset that allows clinical practitioners to customise the i-LIMB Pulse to the specific needs of the user. It allows real-time assessment of users’ myoelectric impulses with the ability to adjust gain and threshold settings, select different control strategies, and enable or disable features and grips, including the pulsing effect. It also provides statistical analysis and documentation of the device wearer’s usage patterns, a feature designed to improve patient outcomes and training.

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