-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, May 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The first artificial arm
that can perform complex tasks was approved for sale May 9 in the
The DEKA Arm System detects electrical signals in the muscles
close to where the prosthetic is attached, which are then sent to a
computer processor in the arm and translated into multiple
movements, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
which granted the marketing approval.
The agency's approval is based on clinical trials of the device,
including one in which 36 military veterans tested the artificial
arm in common household and self-care tasks.
Using the DEKA device, about 90 percent of the veterans were
able to do things they couldn't do with their current artificial
arm, including preparing food and feeding themselves, brushing and
combing their hair, using keys and locks, and using zippers, the
FDA said in an agency news release.
The DEKA prosthetic arm can be adapted to people who have limb
loss at the shoulder joint, mid-upper arm or lower arm. It cannot
be used for limb loss at the elbow or wrist joint.
"This innovative prosthesis provides a new option for people with certain kinds of arm amputations," Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in the news release.
"The DEKA Arm System may allow some people to perform more complex tasks than they can with current prostheses in a way that more closely resembles the natural motion of the arm," she added.
The new prosthetic is made by DEKA Integrated Solutions in
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
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