Double-amputee Jason Koger used to fly hundreds of miles to visit a clinician in North Texas when he wanted to adjust the grips on his bionic hands.
Koger came to Philadelphia this week to demonstrate the i-limb ultra revolution, a prosthetic developed by the British firm Touch Bionics. Using a stylus and an iPhone, Koger can choose any of 24 grip patterns that best suit his needs.
“Five years ago, I couldn’t pull my pants up by myself,” said Koger. “Today, I go hunting and do some of the things that I probably never imagined I could have done five years ago.”
It’s the latest evolution in equipment for Koger, a 34-year-old married father of three from Owensboro, Ky., who lost his hands in an all-terrain vehicle accident in 2008.
The technology indicates how rapidly the field of prosthetics is changing, benefiting patients from injured military members to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Practitioners say increased government research in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is driving some of the advances.