Prosthetic technology can be traced back to 3,000 years ago in Egypt and has come a long way since then. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency put around $144 million toward prosthetic research owing to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which ended up with around 1,800 U.S. soldiers requiring amputation.
At present, organizations like RePurpose For Good are putting efforts into designing and manufacturing reusable prosthetics from recycled plastic. The organization has developed a process where recycled plastics is turned into customized prosthetics using 3D printing technology, which is a game changer for an industry that has generally followed the one-size-fits-all approach when fitting a prosthetic to a patient. The research for the advancement of prosthetic technology is now required more than ever before also because 11 million children and adults globally face a life without a hand, arm, foot, or leg due to war, diabetes, cancer, and trauma.
Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics provides the latest innovation to its patients through their direct access to the most progressive technology on the market such as the BiOM Ankle System from iWalk, which is designed to increase mobility with propulsion technology, while reducing energy demands and stress on the body.
Looking at the future prospects, companies such as Touch Bionics are making huge advancements with products such as the i-limb, a bionic hand where each finger has its own motor. The engineers in London are assembling a structure named the Bionic Man out of prosthetics and artificial organs from around the world. With so many advances, one can only wonder how far the technology will go.