Current research directions in the upper limb prosthetics market hover around improving the performance outcomes so that the devices meet the functional requirements in amputees. The technological developments relate notably to following performance attributes: socket design, prosthetic componentry, signal control schemes, rotational stability, and grip strength. Stakeholders in the upper limb prosthetics also consider the outcome measures of implantation to be contingent on the surgical techniques used. Some of the currently used ones are targeted muscle reinnervation or the use of implantable neurologic sensing devices.
Some of the recently unveiled devices in the upper limb prosthetics market are multi-articulating myoelectric hand and FDA-approved above-the-knee prostheses.
Despite constant technological strides in the upper limb prosthetics market and vast body of clinical studies in the upper limb to complement with, unsurprisingly, the rate of satisfaction with these set of prosthesis is low, in contrast to lower-limb prosthetics. The reason has to do with marked difficulty of patients to adjust to upper limb amputations, given the fact that prosthetic restoration is a lifelong process. This no doubt keeps on expanding the need for new fabrication methods and training programs in the upper limb prosthetics market. A difficult patient subset is designing prosthetics for children.
The insights also take care of the macroeconomic trends, including the current ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, that have impacted the current demand in clinical settings. Further, the report evaluates the market scope of ongoing research development programs in developed markets, and analyzes why new non-invasive methods will gain acceptance among the stakeholders.
The focus on improving the quality of amputees to enable them to carry out their daily activities is a key factor boosting technological advancements in the upper limb prosthetics market. Upper-limb amputations account for a major percentage of trauma-related amputations, with hand or finger amputations become a kay target for stakeholders in the upper limb prosthetics market. Other common reasons are vascular/infection, congenital absence, and cancer. Per an estimate, still considered relevant, 500,000 people had to undergo amputation of the hand or fingers in the U.S. in 2005. The statistics paint a picture of the scope of the opportunities in the upper limb prosthetics market.
Surgeons have benefitted from the continuing strides made in robotics of exoskeleton assistive devices. Progress in the upper limb prosthetics market has focused on improving the benefits of myoelectric prostheses technologies and externally powered prosthesis. Some of the commercial releases in recent years have aimed at overcoming the limitations in inertial measurement unit (IMU) control.
Companies are leaning on meeting a wide range of functional requirements of prosthetics. Improving the patients’ and stakeholders’ expectations from top companies typically relate to dexterity, coordination, strength, and natural motion. A case in point is i-Limb Quantum by Össur, an Icelandic company that claims to pioneer in the development of non-invasive prosthetics. Some of the other popular devices contributing growth avenues to their respective manufacturers in the upper limb prosthetics market are i-Digit quantum, BeBionic hand, and Michelangelo hand.
Research agencies, such as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Government, play crucial role in development of next-gen technologies in the upper limb prosthetics market. DARPA has recently funded upper limb prosthetic solutions that can meet the advanced requirements of militaries. Another novel device is the efficacy of noninvasive electroencephalogram-based brain-computer interface (BCI). Another similar research in the upper limb prosthetics market relates to the Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program, where the research team aims at developing upper limb prosthetics that allow multiple degrees of freedom for hand movement.
The acceptance of new technologies in upper limb prosthetics is high in the U.S., where companies are making extensive research in unveiling highly dexterous and comfortable prosthetic limbs. A number of research on testing new non-invasive technologies are awaiting clinical trials. Other promising regions in the upper limb prosthetics market are Asia and Europe. New tools such as Assessment of Capacity for Myoelectric Control (ACMC) will stridently unearth new capitalization avenues for market players.
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