Powered brace proves restoring arm functionality is no longer out of reach

Wearable technologies such as exosuits can enhance people’s baseline abilities by giving them the ability to walk further or lift more than they would ordinarily be able to. In some cases, this means helping non-disabled people to carry out tasks more efficiently. Where it’s more profound, however, is in helping people with disabilities to perform actions that might otherwise be impossible.

This is where a powered brace called the MyoPro myoelectric arm orthosis excels. Manufactured by the wearable medical robotics company Myomo, the device is billed as the only lightweight wearable device on the market that can help restore functionality in the arms and hands of individuals with neuromuscular disease or injury. That includes the effects of conditions such as strokes, brachial plexus injury, or cerebral palsy.

The noninvasive device works by reading faint nerve signals on the surface of the skin, and then using this information to activate small motors that move the prosthesis as required. The user is in full control of their own hand or arm at all times.

“MyoPro can help restore function to an arm paralyzed or weakened by any disease or injury — it is diagnosis agnostic,” Paul Gudonis, chairman and CEO of Myomo, told Digital Trends. “We estimate approximately 1 percent of the population is in this condition. Patients with their MyoPro brace enjoy getting back the ability to do everyday activities such as cutting food, getting dressed, holding a book, playing pool, and helping with chores around the house. MyoPro is suited for this because it is lightweight, wearable, easy to use, and its long-life swappable battery enables all-day use.”

At present, MyoPro is being used by more than 700 adults in the U.S., Canada, and select European countries. According to Gudonis, the device is covered by the majority of insurance plans. It has found particularly widespread adoption among veterans who have been injured in combat or suffered injuries after their service. For instance, one U.S. Air Force veteran who suffered a brachial plexus injury was told that his arm would remain paralyzed until he received his MyoPro. It was also recently approved for adolescents, thereby opening the technology up to a whole new audience.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best new podcasts to listen to on your daily commute

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series we’ll help you pick out the best from the rest of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include a call to arms for creativity, an infamous baggie of crack, and…
Deals

Here are the best Chromebook deals available in March 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Deals

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Emerging Tech

Researchers gave alligators headphones and ketamine, and all for a good cause

Researchers in Germany and the United States recently gave ketamine and earphones to alligators to monitor how they process sounds. Here's what it reveals about alligator evolution.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.
Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers plan to beam Earth’s greatest hits into deep space, and you can help

A new project from the SETI Institute (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will give the public the chance to submit compositions to be beamed into space, with the aim of connecting people around the world through music.
Emerging Tech

Scientists have a way to turn off alcoholism: Blasting the brain with lasers

Researchers from Scripps Research have demonstrated that it is possible to reverse the desire to drink in alcohol-dependent rats by targeting a part of the brain using lasers. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

China has cloned its best police dog. Now it wants to mass-produce more

Scientists in China have cloned the Sherlock Holmes of police sniffer dogs, with possible plans to mass produce it in the future. Here's why its creators think that's a great idea.
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Emerging Tech

A 3D printer the size of a small barn will produce entire homes in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that can comfortably fit on the side of your desk… well, Danish company Cobod International’s enormous new 3D house printer probably isn’t for you.
Deals

Need a ride? Amazon is slashing prices on popular electric scooters

If you’re not much of a cyclist or if you’re looking for a lazier way to zip about town, an electric scooter should be right up your alley. Two of our favorites, the foldable Glion Dolly and the eco-friendly Razor scooter, are on sale…
Emerging Tech

Unexpected particle plumes discovered jetting out of asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx craft traveled to asteroid Bennu last year and won't return until 2023. But the mission is already throwing up unexpected findings, like plumes of particles which are being ejected from the surface of the asteroid.