India supporting development of myo–prosthetics
With an increase in the trend of amputations in India where about 2.68 crore persons are ‘disabled’ (visual, hearing, speech, locomotor, and mental disabilities), the government of India launched. Accessible India Campaign (AIC), a nationwide flagship campaign, with an aim to make a barrier free and conducive environment for the differently-able community. There are several startups coming up with superior and advanced technologies, which would serve and deliver an Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and robust, biomedical devices which are affordable to Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC).
India is a vast country with a large number of individuals in the community of various disabilities. It is roughly 0.62 amputees per thousand populations which are close to one million individuals with amputations in the country. The two main causes of amputations are trauma (road traffic accidents, railway accidents, and burns due to fire, electrocution, and chemical injuries), vascular disease and carcinoma. In the group aged over 60 years, peripheral vascular disease was a more common cause of amputation than trauma. Motor vehicle collisions, gunshot wounds, and animal attacks also contribute to traumatic limb amputations. There is increasing trend of amputations in India where about 2.68 crore persons are ‘disabled’ (visual, hearing, speech, locomotor, and mental disabilities) which is 2.21 per cent of the total population. However prevalence rates are declining for all disability types except locomotors disability.
So the way out for amputations should be prosthesis: an artificial (limb) extension that replaces a missing body part such as an upper (arms) or lower (legs) body extremity. The type of artificial limb used is determined largely by the extent of an amputation or loss and location of the missing extremity. There are four main types of artificial limbs which are the transtibial, transfemoral, transradial, and transhumeral prostheses.
Current scenario and market development
The usage of Cosmetic Arm and Mechanical Arm for upper limb is more prevalent in India. Some of the players in manufacturing and supplying these prosthetics which may be worth mentioning are
1. Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), Kanpur which produces 355 types of aids and appliances with a product range includes orthotic and prosthetic appliances for upper and lower extremities, spinal braces, cervical collars, traction kits, rehabilitation aids like wheel chairs, crutches and tri-wheelers. The corporation provides tools and equipment required for fitment of orthotic and
prosthetic assemblies by the Limb Fitting Centre.
2. The Jaipur Foot brand of Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) is the world’s largest organization rehabilitating over 1.55 million disabled gives assistance including artificial limbs, calipers and other aids and appliances totally free of charge.
3. Tata group have opened 15 authorized centers across India to facilitate the patients. They run them in collaboration with private practitioners and nongovernmental organizations. They have long-term programs for manufacturing prosthetic products and to remain in competition in field of biomedical aids and appliance business.
4. Saket Ortho Appliances Centre is involved in manufacturing and supplying artificial lower limbs, cosmetic restoration (silicone base artificial fingers, ears, nose, eyes, parial hand/foot, etc.), traction kit, walker-crutches, latex free grip band and weight lose belt. Some more products are upper limb, diabeticortho foot wear, diabetic-ortho silicon foot care, pressure garment, contoured back support etc.
5. Nevedac Prosthetic Centre recognized by central government a pioneer in the field of artificial limbs in Asia. It provides low cost artificial limbs and orthotic appliances and has rehabilitated over 65,000 disabled persons.
6. International Prosthetic Eye Centre in Hyderabad, known to provide the best customized ocular (artificial eye) and maxillofacial (orbit, ear, nose, facial) prosthetic services.
7. Endolite India is a rehabilitation service company in Delhi having a network of 250 franchises. Company aims at providing reliable, cost effective, technologically superior prosthetic & orthotic products with technical and clinical support providing range if prosthetic system to maximize benefits to the clients.
8. Ottobock India being one of the reputed artificial limb (prosthetic arms and legs) fitting centers in India, offering prosthetic legs and prosthetic arms to assist people to regain their freedom. 9. Ossur India provides Non-invasive orthopedics to deliver advanced and innovative technologies within the fields of prosthetics, braces, supports and compression therapy etc.
Cost of performing Prosthetics
With high end infrastructure and expertise in the healthcare sector there is always growing improvement in the field of Artificial Limb Prosthesis Surgery. Global patients have made this country the first preferred place due to the low cost and high quality Artificial
Limb Prosthesis Surgery.The most advanced medical treatment and the medical experts help patients with post-treatment recovery and physical therapies to help them get friendly with new limbs. Facilities are available at reasonable cost.
Recent Technology Development
The choice of prosthetics is based on the requirement of the user. Most of the works are in nascent stages and lacks integration with the technology due to its multidisciplinary nature and the nonavailability of funds. However several breakthrough technologies like Brain-machine interface, Myoelectric prosthesis, Bionics, Biomechatronics etc. have evolved with integrative approach eg. Design of prosthetic hand needs a compelling knowledge of physiology, anatomy, electrical and electronics, mechanical design, software, and so on, depending on the nature of control etc. Different types of prosthetic hands ranging from body-powered prosthetic hand to neural interface-based prosthetic hand, which are being manufactured and attempted in the market and for the purpose of research.
Startups in making of Myo-Electric prosthetics
Under the flagship program of Make in India, startups are coming forward to make the myoelectric prosthetics a reality in India. DeeDee labs is developing a noninvasive bionic prosthetic solutions with Multigrasp Hand Pattern Recognition Software, it replaces the current surgerical mode with more noninvasive way. More like thought controlled prosthesis experience. It completely focuses on lightweight design, less learning time for amputees, longer battery life and the most important affordability. The current myo electric prosthetics are invasive and are costly. Their idea is to make use of the body’s naturally generated electric signals of the muscles and process it in order to perform the desired action by the hand. While the product is mainly being developed to perform hand actions, namely contraction and relaxation, pinching and pointing at objects, engineers are also working on adding more gestures.
Limbot Technologies which focuses on affordable and advance myo electric prosthetics to perform daily task with comfort and ease. LimBot deals with integration of prosthetic or artificial limbs, orthotic devices, mobility aids, and rehabilitative care. Their mission is to reach out to people with experienced limb loss, who lacks financial resources, and do not qualify for any other funding assistance, and to provide those individuals with assistance in obtaining appropriate and qualified prosthetic and orthotic fitting and rehabilitation to live productive and active lives with dignity.
Another startup based in R.V. College of Engineering comprising of a young team working on innovation bionic arm. It was found that rehabilitation for the handicapped is a big issue in the world. They went through many studies about assistive devices for the handicapped and found that prosthetic hands for the upper limb are either hook or hand-shaped and are actuated by either body or external power. Body-powered prosthetic limbs are controlled by cables connecting them to elsewhere on the body. Externally powered prosthetic limbs are powered with motors which can be controlled by the patient in several ways through switches or buttons. While these are functional, they wanted to develop prosthetic limbs that are more hassle free and more intuitive to control. They
found that a more advanced way to control a prosthetic limb was by ‘listening’ to the muscles remaining in the residual limb that the patient could still contract. Because muscles generate small electrical signals when they contract, electrodes placed on the surface of the skin can measure muscle movements. Although no buttons are physically pressed by the muscles in this case, their contractions are detected by the electrodes and then used to control the prosthetic limb- in a way similar to the switch control method.
With the advent of Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) to serve the differently-able community of the country, there are several startups coming up with superior and advanced technologies. The technologies would serve and deliver an Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and robust, biomedical devices which are affordable to Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC).
Sujatha Ramasamy, Scientist-B; Pulak Ranjan Basak, Scientist-F; Srikanta Priyadarshan Patra, Project Associate (Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) - Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, New Delhi).
Mechanical hook (Source-brettvanort.wordpress)
Cranes Mechanical prosthetic arm (Source-openprosthetics)
Testing trial of Myo prosthetics on Patient Source@Deedeelabs (twitter)
Testing trial of Myo prosthetics on Patients (Source at LimBots lab)