Study: New Prosthetic Hand Lets Amputee Sense Temperature

    Study: New Prosthetic Hand Lets Amputee Sense Temperature
    Photo: Stanislav Ivanov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Scientists have developed a functional artificial limb with fingertip sensors that can deliver realistic thermal information to an amputee's residual limb, which the brain interprets as being still attached to the original hand.

    • Following the recent discovery of phantom thermal sensations in amputees, scientists integrated a standalone system into a robotic prosthetic hand to allow it to feel and respond to hot and cold temperatures.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    With one of the last sensory frontiers of bionic limbs — temperature — now within sight, amputees are a step closer to living a fuller life. It gives individuals who have suffered dismemberment a stronger "this hand is mine" sense. This is taking it closer to its full potential — especially when added dexterity of the prosthetic is factored in. Once the safety requirements are met, a whole new life will open up for amputees.

    Narrative B

    While the past decade's growth and innovations in the field of prosthetics have been phenomenal, this evolution also calls for a bird's-eye view of where this medical technology is headed. A critical analysis at this stage will help the field in its next steps to master and integrate these innovations. It's vital to build a solid framework in the medical industry to help these medical inventions reach their full promise.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the first medical treatment based on nanorobots will happen by Oct. 2033, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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