Limibitless Solutions (LSI) and Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children are launching a national study to evaluate the effectiveness of video game-based training aimed at helping to prepare children to use their 3D-printed prosthesis.
For the past seven years, LSI has 3D printed prostheses for children and used video games created by University of Central Florida faculty and students to help prepare the children before they receive their arms. The new study with Orlando Health Arnold Palmer will evaluate how well the video game helps the children prepare their muscles to use the Limbitless arms and how the role of gamified training may be used to improve the children’s rate of adopting the prostheses long-term.
LSI is providing the bionic arms and video game training system. Orlando Health Arnold Palmer pediatric orthopedic surgeon Mark Birnbaum, MD, will serve as the principal investigator for the study. The hospital will also provide occupational therapists who will work with the children during the 14-month trial. The study will include up to 20 children nationwide, with an emphasis on recruiting in Central Florida, and is open to boys and girls ages 7-17.
During the trail’s first phase, participants will gain an understanding of how to activate the bionic arm’s multi-gesture controls by using Limbitless’ training mobile phone video game, Limbitless Runner, with a custom muscle sensing controller. The game helps prepare the participants to use their electromyographic (EMG) bionic arm at the two-month evaluation mark. While learning how to use EMG-powered technology can be complex, Limbitless Runner mirrors other video games by using designated levels where users will earn achievements and unlock more complex levels that correspond to muscle gestures needed to control the bionic arms.
“We are so grateful for Orlando Health’s commitment to support this research and children with limb differences,” said Albert Manero, PhD, CEO and LSI co-founder. “It means the world that our hometown hospital is leading the study, and, with their support, we will be able to reach and connect with more families than we ever thought possible.”
“Studies like this are an important step in understanding how we can improve the ways we care for children with congenital limb loss,” said Phillip Giordano MD, corporate research operations chief for Orlando Health. “We’re excited to partner with Limbitless Solutions for this study and look forward to seeing what impact it has on families and children in Central Florida and beyond.”
Editor’s Note: This story was adapted by materials provided by University of Central Florida.