Prosthetics firm’s small move could benefit children

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THEY have developed a bionic hand, now they have really put their finger on it.

Livingston-based Touch Bionics, which revolutionised prosthetics with the 2007 invention of the i-Limb and then refined the design with individual bionic fingers, has unveiled its latest innovation.

A compact design means that individual fingers, or i-Limb digits, can now be fitted to children, meaning millions could benefit.

Touch communications manager, Danny Sullivan, told the Evening News: “The i-Limb digits are custom-made and the prosthesis fits round the remaining section of the hand.

“They can now be fitted in a smaller size, making them more appropriate for smaller people, including young teenagers and possibly even younger. Since the i-Limb first became commercially available we have shipped more than 2500 full hands and over 500 i-Limb Digits units. In Scotland, there are five people wearing Touch Bionics’ bionic prostheses.”

The company also announced a new smaller wristband for wearers which contains the batteries powering the artificial digits.

David Gow, one of the founders of Touch and the inventor of the i-Limb Digits, who left the company in 2009 to work for NHS Lothian, said he was “immensely proud”.

“From the start of the journey in bringing i-Limb Digits to the world, it was clear that we had a unique and innovative product to help people whose lives had been affected by a partial hand amputation,” he said.

“These latest developments ensure that more people, particularly with digit loss at or around the knuckle, can be fitted with a functional and cosmetic replacement which can enable them to return to work and restore body image.”

Touch matches the covering of the prosthetic with the patient’s skin tone, even adding freckles and hair to create a completely life-like appearance.