Jesse Sullivan, a Tennessee power company lineman whose arms were amputated after he was electrocuted on the job, now has artificial limbs that let him rotate his wrists and upper arms, bend his elbow, grip with his hand, and, incredibly, feel. Sullivan's arm employs nerves from the chest muscle. When that muscle contracts, a myoelectric sensor atop his skin detects the contraction and sends it to an amplifier and then to a digital signal processor (DSP) in the Boston Digital Arm. The arm’s DSP interprets the signal and then sends a command to the hand motor, which closes the hand. (Source: Liberating Technologies)
Just figured I would add another comment to the EZ-IO...my EMS agency saved another life using the EZ-IO last week. NOTE: I was NOT involved in this event; I am just relaying the info from other EMS providers who were there. A woman collapsed at a local bank, bystanders performed CPR and called 911. When our EMS crew arrived they found the woman in cardiac arrest in an EKG Rhythm called Ventricular Fibrillation, or V-Fib, they defibrillated the patient with no change in rhythm and continued CPR. For those of you not in the medical field, an EKG rhythm of V-Fib is 100% fatal without rapid treatment. The crew used the EZ-IO to obtain access for medication administration. They then administered multiple medications and defibrillated the patient several times while transporting the patient to the closest hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital the patient had a pulse, a decent blood pressure, and was breathing on her own. She spent several days in the ICU and was then discharged home and has made a full recovery with no loss of function. The crew stated that the EZ-IO definitely allowed them to get vascular access quicker than a standard IV would have and were therefore able to administer medications much more quickly, which is very important for a patient in V-Fib who does not respond to defibrillation alone. Many factors came together just right to save this woman's life, especially the quick action of the bystanders, but EZ-IO also played a very important role.
I agree completely—the field of Biomedical Engineering is truly fascinating and growing by leaps and bounds.Just today I was talking to an entering sophomore at Purdue University about career fields in engineering.I mentioned Biomedical and indicated to her that, if I had to do it all over again, I would choose that field.I feel the technology is progressing at a very rapid pace and biomedical robotics has ever increasing importance and is just in its infancy.We see daily the men and women who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan with limbs missing and wonder what remedies exists for such terrible wounds.The solution may eventually be robotic arms, legs, feet.Doctors can't do this—only engineers.
I agree, WilliamK. Bioengineering is one of the inspiring areas of engineering today. Doctors get all the credit for saving lives, but developments in medical electronics save tens of thousands of lives that we never hear about.
Very well said. What a contrast to those "human" beings that work in aerial drone design and manufacture, that mostly ignore the terrible consecuences of killing human beings from far away. So much for Nobel Prize "peace" dignitaries that actively promote such uses for technology. I congratulate you for choosing the most ethic way to use your knowledge. Amclaussen.
Interesting...never knew the story behind the device...just know that we like it a lot! Our regional EMS office has required that we carry either the EZ-IO or another device that is spring loaded...almost every agency has chosen the EZ-IO, even though the cost was a little higher, its easy of use and simplicity won out.
EZ-IO is one of my favorite technology stories, EEMedic. I'm glad to hear the technology is having such a lifesaving effect in the field. The story behind the invention is amazing. The physician who invented it was in part inspired by the work of his father, an automotive engineer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.