December 16, 2014 – Hands Worldwide
Anchor lead: 3D printing holds promise for providing prosthetic hands worldwide, Elizabeth Tracey reports
3D printers are being used by Albert Chi, an orthopedic and trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues to make hands for children who lack them. Chi says the technology could also be of great benefit to many people worldwide.
Chi: I know right now we’ve really been concentrating on children with congenital limb loss . There’s about one in 2500 children born with some type of partial hand deformity, and all those children could benefit. What we haven’t really talked about is those in developing countries, not only children but adults as well. I think that the actual number it could be hundreds of thousands of people who could benefit from this technology. Inexpensive, very useful prosthetic devices that could be available immediately. :27
Chi says his group has made software available free of charge for anyone who would like to print a hand, and through a charity called Enabling the Future can help facilitate support of this work. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.