i-limb digits is the fully customised electronic prosthesis for people with missing fingers or partial hands. Anywhere from one to five missing fingers can be replaced with individually powered prosthetic digits. These digits, which move independently and bend at the joints, work in conjunction with any remaining fingers to help you increase your functional capabilities.
Touch Bionics’ finger technology has been adapted for patients who have a partial hand requirement, due to either congenitally missing fingers or fingers lost through an accident. Not having fingers or a thumb to act in opposition to one another makes simple tasks such as holding a fork or a cup difficult and frustrating for patients. Passive fingers, whilst providing both a cosmetic and partial grip function have limited value in performing activities of daily living.
See the story of Ray Milburn, the first person in the southern hemisphere to receive i-limb digits.
Introducing i-limb digits from Touch Bionics
OPC Health are the Australian & New Zealand suppliers of i-limb digits, using powerful myo electric digits to restore normal hand function for partial hand amputations. Numerous partial hand amputees have been successfully fitted with an i-limb digit myo electric prosthesis in Australia and worldwide.
Please contact Paul Coleman at OPC Health our Prosthetic Product Specialist if you would like more information on i-limb digits from Touch Bionics. If you are a Health Professional, Occupational Therapist or a Prosthetic Clinician, contact Paul Coleman to organise for an i-limb digit workshop or to learn about the exciting advances in technology for partial hand limb loss.
Patient selection criteria
There are physical criteria that dictate whether i-limb digits is an appropriate solution or not. Ideal candidates for i-limb digits have amputation levels through, or just proximal, to the metacarpal phalangeal level of one or more digits. We consult with prosthetists in order to ensure that the appropriate i-limb digits solution is supplied.
Socket Interface Materials
Every effort is made to ensure that i-limb digits solutions preserve the critical functional elements of the hand, as well as protecting any compromised skin. This preservation is normally accomplished by using silicone interface materials, which allow users to comfortably wear the sockets without further irritating or damaging the soft tissue of their digits or hands.
Each i-limb digits solution requires batteries, access to charging the batteries, and a method of turning the device off and on. Positioning these elements in the device depends on the length of the remnant limb. If the amputation is far enough proximal to the MCP joints, these elements of the device can be integrated into the "palm" of the prosthesis.
If the limb deficiency site is more distal, then the "hardware" must be moved onto the forearm, and housed in as unobtrusive a method as possible, while still providing access for charging the batteries.
Battery, controller module and associated wiring have been housed in a number of personalised and functional ways and result from the interaction between the patient and the prosthetist. This aspect of i-limb digits design is one of the more challenging and requires an experienced upper limb prosthetist to customise this design.
The most common method of controlling i-limb digits is to use myoelectrodes or force-sensing resistors (FSR's). Electrodes sense muscle contraction while sitting on the skin above the muscle. The muscle contraction is filtered, amplified, and then sent to the processor which tells the fingers whether to open or close.
FSR sense pressure and can be utilised if motion is available from a remnant digit to press into one or more of these sensors.
biosim-pro is the computer software that allows the prosthetist to interact with the i-limb digits system. It communicates wirelessly via Bluetooth® connection between a computer and the controller inside the prosthesis.
The advantage of this wireless connection is that it allows the prosthetist to make adjustments to the prosthesis without tethering and statistical information can be gathered in real-time.
Input signals can be adjusted through gain and threshold levels, various control strategies can be changed and utilised, and hand features can be enabled and disabled all through biosim-pro.
For more inforrmation on i-limb digits, contact OPC Health Prosthetic Product Manager Paul Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org.