Magic 3D Printed Exoskeleton for Kids [video]

Magic Arms

More than 50,000 children in the U.S. and more than 500,000 worldwide suffer from illness or conditions that weakens their muscles to the point that they they are unable to use their arms. Many tasks that we take for granted in a toddler — feeding themselves, playing with toys, hugging their parents — are not possible for them. A team at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Delaware created a stationary device that provided assistance to a child with such a problem, but they wanted to create something that would let her move around normally. With help from Stratasys, they turned to 3D printing and lightweight plastics to create a custom exoskeleton to fit the little girl’s arms. And thus the “Magic Arms” project was born. The system can be custom made for each patient, and replacement parts can be produced as the child grows.

Now based in Minneapolis, the non-profit has a single center with a single trained expert to create these custom devices for patients. Since 2012, the group has helped more than 100 families by creating similar devices, but they want to do more. They want to add more 3D printers and more trained clinicians to help fit the devices to the children who need them. Ultimately, they want to create a system where parents could take the required measurements and “send away” for a set of Magic Arms for their child, and work with their own team of healthcare professionals to put the system into use.

Magic Arms has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to open more centers across the U.S. They also plan to work with experts to improve the design of the orthotic and cut its cost in half. They will make the device easier to manufacture, assemble, and fit to patients. The group already has a waiting list of more than 200 children who could benefit from the device, and this funding could help make that happen faster. It may not make these kids as strong as Sigourney Weaver’s “Ripley” character from “Aliens”, but it has the power to change their lives and the lives of their families.

Smartphone Alternative to Wearable Trackers [video]

Corrections officials need to track people who have been placed on probation or parole, and the most common solution is a wearable device: an ankle bracelet that uses GPS and other systems to track location. These devices are expensive, and many departments cannot afford them for all the individuals they need to track. Telmate is […]

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Survey Shows Low Consumer Interest in Health Tech

Wearable features

Study after study shows that consumers, healthcare professionals, insurance companies, and employers are all interested in wearable Health Tech devices to help monitor and improve the health of the user. So it is a bit surprising to see the results of a new survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB), as reported in an article published […]

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Another Health Tech Competition

Golden glowing trophy cup on a dark blue background

One of the most popular ways to promote innovation in technology fields — from space travel to healthcare — is to offer a competition with prize money and other benefits awarded to the winners. One such competition is the HITLAB World Cup, which aims to promote healthcare products that meet unmet needs. This is truly […]

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Expanding Production of Automated Drug Delivery System

SmartDose Update

Almost a year ago, we described the SmartDose system from West Pharmaceutical Services. This is a battery-powered system that patients can adhere to their skin, and the device will automatically administered predetermined doses of medication. This increases patient compliance with treatment plans, which can lead to better outcomes as well as being more convenient. And […]

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Hat Helps Cancer Patients Keep Their Hair [video]


Among the many miracles of modern medicine, the increasing survival rate of cancer patients has to be one of the most amazing. Treatments often combine surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy to help beat back the attack of cancer cells. One common side-effect of these treatments, however, is that all fast-growing cells are attacked in the process, […]

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They Track Horses, Don’t They? [video]


When it comes to the “quantified self” movement, humans aren’t the only ones who can track their health and fitness information. SeeHorse is a company that has created a wearable Health Tech device for horses. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. The average horse represents a significant financial investment by […]

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Dell: the Doctor Is In

Dell - van Terheyden

You can find “Doctors” throughout the technology industry, but the vast majority of them (like me) have Ph.D. degrees. These are not necessarily the people you want to summon when you start having a health emergency at a restaurant. You’re much more likely to find that there’s “a doctor in the house” at many of […]

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App Pairs with Smartwatch to Detect Seizures [video]

Senior Woman Calling Ambulance

Part of the wearable Health Tech device revolution is that we have have more information available about what’s going on with our bodies than ever before. All sorts of new applications become possible as people figure out new ways to use this information. A perfect example is a smartphone app called Neutun that is designed to […]

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Wearables Combine to Address Limited Vision


“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Technology has made some amazing things possible, but the true power comes from the synergy you get by combining different components. Zuby Onwuta is a researcher based in Austin, Texas, who has taken some separate products to create a system called Think&Zoom to help individuals with […]

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