Hanger, AT&T Create Network-connected Device for Prosthetic Limbs

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Hanger Clinic, Austin, Texas, and AT&T, Dallas, announced that the two companies have developed a proof of concept for the O&P industry's first standalone, network-connected device for prosthetic limbs.

The prototype, designed to attach to transtibial prostheses, is simple and mobile as it syncs directly to the cloud via AT&T's network without relying on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a separate mobile device. In an effort to bridge communication between clinician and patient, this connectivity allows Hanger to receive data on patients prosthetic usage beyond the clinical setting. AT&T prototyped an iOS app equipped with patient and clinician portals, allowing patients to view their day-to-day progress, such as number of steps taken. It also includes a video calling feature, so patients can talk with Hanger providers about potential issues with their devices. Clinicians can also view their patients activity levels and contact those whose user data shows low activity or irregularities.

"…This device will give us a window into patients' daily experiences and equip us with a level of connectivity we've never had before," said Aaron Flores, PhD, Hanger vice president, who is responsible for the company's fabrication network.

Hanger is currently trialing five such devices with existing patients.