Director of rehabilitation engineering services at NHS Lothian in Britain, David Gow, believes his new i-Limb system (bionic arm, hand combo) from Touch Bionics is so superior to biological limbs that it may have to “scale down its power.” We’ve been waiting our whole lives to hear those sweet words.
“The i-Limb system is better than a human arm. It is faster and can lift heavier weights than a human arm. It also looks good, has smooth movement, and operates with less noise than existing prosthetic arms. The technology is new and evolving.
“However, we might have to scale the power down to make it suitable for everyone. With something that has a better than human performance, our challenge is ethical.
“A patient would have the potential to hurt themselves or other people with it as it is actually better than a human arm. It could do damage.
“We have got to take safety very seriously. You have to attach it to the patient’s body and that could cause damage if the weight is too heavy. It could snap their ribs. And it could be pretty scary flapping about.”