Adaptive Diagnostic Tooling for Customized Upper Limb Prosthetic Socket Fitment (D15PC00174)
DARPA realized, as do we, that the success and adoption of the “Luke” Arm relies on something beyond their control – the prosthetist. Many might think the device or component attached to the user is key to user success with a system, however the attachment strategy (in this case the socket or interface design), is the most critical aspect of determining wearer success or failure.
There are numerous and distinct challenges present for upper limb amputees including prosthetists’ limited exposure and experience fitting upper limb patients. In addition, current and standard-of-care (SOC) fitting techniques often yield biomechanically flawed sockets that are uncomfortable, unstable, or impede full range of motion, resulting in compromised device performance or election by the amputee to abandon the prosthesis altogether, despite having the most advanced prosthetic components available.
To address these challenges, DARPA sought the development of innovative diagnostic tools to improve socket fittings and socket performance, thus enabling prosthetists to more successfully and systematically deploy advanced upper extremity prosthetics, such as those developed by the DARPA RP programs.
To help solve the fitting issues common with upper limb prostheses, biodesigns competed for and was awarded a 1.5M Direct to Phase II + Option, through the SBIR/DARPA program.
Randall Alley was the primary interface (socket) consultant engaged by DEKA on their Luke arm project (which was part of DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program, RP2007), but this particular award (#D15PC00174) is biodesigns’ first DARPA contract.
The HiFi Interface™ and HiFi Imager™ System with Osseostabilization™ technology, created by Alley, was successfully used in DEKA’s Luke arm studies and is the platform technology for biodesigns’ DARPA contract. Once trials are completed and data is analyzed, the deliverable will be the creation of metrics to relate fitment diagnostics to prosthesis performance, setting the stage for a systematic approach to determine required characteristics and parameters for ideal socket fit. Finally, let there be science! Leave arts and crafts to the history books and welcome in the 21st century.
Currently, biodesigns is seeking commercialization partners to further expand this innovative research.
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