Prosthetics are arguably the only ray of hope for an amputee. The life-changing aspects of prosthetics are effectively reducing the harshness of reality for millions. With the help of prosthetics, it is possible to implant the seed of motivation in the most hopeless of minds. The manifold benedictions of prosthetics were multiplied after the incorporation of bionics. Bionics changed the general perception of prostheses in terms of utility. Unlike regular prosthesis enhancements, a bionic prosthesis is designed to obey the commands of the wielder.
For instance, a bionic arm is powered by an onboard computer, very sophisticated in nature. Which fetches the necessary inputs with the help of Electromyogram sensors placed on the skin. A more invasive intramuscular sensor system is also seen in some bionic arms as well. These sensors receive the EMG data from the relevant muscles and transcribe it into gestures and hand movements. Clearly, the sensitivity, ease of access, and actions it performs determine the bionic arm cost.
In the following discussion, we will try to explore the relevant and important factors which determine the expenses of wielding a bionic prosthetic arm.
Capability and sensitivity
The primary goal of a bionic prosthesis is to give back some of the lost capabilities to an amputee. This rehabilitation includes alleviation of an array of psychological issues like phantom limb pains and sheer frustration.
The aforementioned discussion regarding the working mechanism of a bionic arm reveals that the capability of a prosthesis depends on the performance of its microprocessor and sensors. More sensitive sensors sense more, hence, able to feed more info to the computer. But, for realizing all those inputs evenly matched hardware is essential. Evidently, the willingness for granting more capabilities to the patient adds up to the bionic arm cost.
The versatility of a bionic prosthesis depends on the number of actions it can perform. Clearly, for performing more actions, the on-board computer of the bionic prosthesis should pack more power in terms of capabilities. The software and programs of the limb must support more complicated inputs. And finally, the physical capabilities of a prosthesis will decide the output and the area of its operations. In terms of hardware, more sophistication and flexibility are required for transcribing a wider range of inputs. For increasing the hardware capabilities, a better prosthesis comes with a more complicated mechanism of joints and springs.
Being lightweight also adds to the versatility factor and with the use of modern materials, it is very much possible. Carbon fiber is increasingly favored over other materials for building the springs and shell of a prosthesis due to its lightweight and superior strength to weight ratio.
However, the cost added by this new-tech is nothing compared to the advantages it delivers.
For wielding a sophisticated piece of technology like a bionic prosthetic limb, one must take the time to educate themselves for the better. A clear understanding of the maintenance and mechanism of the bionic tech is essential before implementation. With the desire for extracting more out of a prosthesis, comes more complications and an increased need for a longer period of training and incubation. Like whirling in a loop, this adds up to the expenses as well.