Happy Friday Everyone. We at Bioness are continually blown away by the strength and power of the people we meet... http://t.co/5pOsXy8Xhn— Bioness (@BionessLiveOn) May 2, 2014
Vincent Pieribone is an Associate Professor at Yale University. He's also a passionate scientist working on new ways to help paraplegics move their arms and legs by bypassing the damage and having a computer do the work. While Pieribone is optimistic about the future of brain imaging advancements, he worries that we aren't moving quickly enough to understand every aspect of the brain. To him, more effort was put into creating the iPod than unlocking the secrets of the brain.
Why aren't more intelligent people going into science these days? Besides there being a problem with science education in the U.S., Pieribone thinks the public often misperceives the field entirely. "I got a lot of people who show up in the lab and they think every day is going to be like Mr. Spock running around the deck of the Enterprise making huge discoveries and stuff. And it’s a little slow. It’s a lot of pie petting and you know, things don’t work and like any job, it’s really like any job," he says.
More money for iPods than brain research? This user says thank goodness Bioness is here now (but does wonder what else there could be).
The cause of Peace's stroke is still unknown. He spent Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas that year in Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas in California with no use of his right side. After months in outpatient care at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, he could walk only with a hard-plastic leg brace and a cane.
Now, with the help of a cane and an electronic device called the NESS L300, Peace competes in triathlons and is training to bike for the U.S. Paralympic Military Program.
The stroke left him with about 10% to 15% use of his right arm and 60% of his right leg. He has occasional difficulties transforming thoughts into words and has "foot drop," a condition in which the foot remains pointed toward the ground, not parallel, when he picks up his right leg to walk. The NESS L300, which is manufactured by Bioness, helps correct the condition through electrical stimulation.
The device consists of three parts: a blood pressure-like cuff that wraps around the leg just below the knee, a heel switch worn in the shoe that senses the foot's movement, and a hand controller worn around the neck.
Another great story about Bioness.
What is considered medically necessary for the American insurance standard is whatever gets you from the bed to the toilet. I am not kidding. No other aspect of daily living other than using the bathroom is considered "necessary," which means your basic prosthetic given to most amputees—a stick with a rubber foot as a leg, or a stick with a hook on the end as an arm, has fundamentally not changed since WWII.
Gizmodo has a feature on Cyborg life this week. I can't verify the truth of this statement, but it sure feels true. If the insurance industry had an up-to-date standard for its work, maybe it wouldn't be so hard to get the use of a terrific technology like Bioness approved.