Today’s surprising news comes from Science Robotics, detailing the incredible medical breakthrough that could improve the lives of amputees significantly and focuses on the real-life bionic woman. This new type of artificial limb, a neuromusculoskeletal implant, is a major leap forward in the field, and its success is a promising first step. While the technology may take time to proliferate and become affordable, it’s a great start.
This so called bionic woman is named Karin, is 50 years old, and had her right arm amputated after a farming accident over two decades ago. She struggled with conventional prosthetic arms and chronic phantom pain throughout her 20 years of living as an amputee. This new advanced prosthetic has significantly improved her quality of life.
Unlike traditional prosthetics, the direct attachment to her skeletal and nervous system means this bionic woman can move the hand and fingers of her prosthetic directly with her mind. While this dexterity isn’t on par with a biological hand it’s shockingly close, with researchers claiming she has 80% functionality as compared to a natural hand. While still short of full restoration that’s an incredible amount of functionality compared to traditional prosthetics.