The first clinical trial of 3D printed bionic hands

This is a première for Open Bionics, a company specialized in low-cost hand prostheses. This first clinical trial would lead to the popularization of 3D printing as a daily help to amputees.

At the beginning, Open Bionics proposed a bionic hand device considered to be very expensive by the National Health Service of the United Kingdom. A new study based on 3D printing is therefore launched to verify if the costs are more advantageous via this technique. Sources say the trial involving North Bristol NHS and SBRI Healthcare will begin this week.

The trial

10 children were selected to evaluate the benefits of 3D medical devices.

Tilly Lockley, interviewee, is a child who owns an Open Bionics prototype. He lost his hand after having had meningitis. Today he feels more confident: in general, “people feel sorry because [one does not] have a hand like them,” he said.

Open Bionics and the prostheses

The company explains on its website that there are about 2 million amputees of the hand all over the world.

The numerous awards it won testify to its expertise in the research. A wide range of projects were born as a result of this work. Working as a consultant in robotic to make the Metal Gear Solid inspired James Young’s hand is part of them.

Finally, the goal here would be to make 3D printers accessible to everyone within the next 5 years hence the research in other areas such as the reconstructive prostheses of Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK.


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