An artificial hand that helps to restore one’s autonomy. This is the purpose of Bebionic, a ‘myoelectric’ hand prosthesis whose technology allows for finger control and precise tasks. Brought in Mauritius by Ottobock in Socota, Phoenix, the bionic hand is the solution to amputees.
Using our hands and fingers for all our daily tasks may seem trivial but it represents a complex chore for amputees. However, with the introduction of Bebionic in Mauritius, the use of both hands will become effortless and trouble-free for amputees. The Bebionic is an artificial hand designed by Ottobock, whose parent company is in Germany, and is introduced in Mauritius by Ottobock Mauritius. This bionic hand is indeed giving hope to amputees in our country.
“The integration of individual motors and powerful microprocessors makes it possible to articulate the fingers separately and thus to grasp and manipulate objects with precision,” explained Paul Nel, the director of Ottobock Mauritius and also prosthetist and orthotist. The expert team based in Mauritius comes from South Africa and aims to make Mauritius become the strategic place for patients and customers from the region and elsewhere.
The combination of advanced technology and innovative design led to the creation of the bebionic, which is a polydigital hand. Its functions offer the patient increased versatility thanks to a multitude of movements. “Bebionic makes everyday life easier by personalising its essential and complementary functions,” said Paul Nel.
The Bebionic hand is offered with different wrist options as well as silicone glove colors. With a modern and futuristic design, the Bebionic is intelligently designed. “With its manually repositionable thumb and pre-flexed and articulated fingers, the Bebionic hand is similar to the anatomy of a healthy hand and allows for natural, coordinated movements,” explained Wickus Malan, Ottobock Prosthetics Specialist.
The prosthesis is available for amputees or those who suffer from the absence of an arm due to congenital malformations. “However, you have to come to Socota Phoenix, which is Ottobock Mauritius headquarters, for a first diagnosis and to see what is the best solution, because each person has different needs,” uttered Dorette Vermeulen, therapist and rehabilitation specialist. Once the choice is made, the bionic hand is adjusted as per the person’s needs.
Moreover, there is a follow-up with the prosthetist and the therapist to ensure better use. “There is preparation and continuous monitoring in order to allow the person to better understand the different functions of the bionic hand,” she stated.
The Bebionic hand can have up to 14 functions.
- Use household appliances which have a trigger mechanism such as sprayers, hair dryers and various electronic tools.
- Pick up and hold objects of various weights and sizes, including a bag and toothbrush.
- The person can hold fine objects or can tie your shoe laces.
- Carry shopping bags and suitcases.
- The flexion grip provides precise and accurate control, and allows for more complex tasks such as unlocking a door.
- Grab objects such as cutlery and magazines.
- The tridigital grip enables one to catch, maintain and manipulate a variety of daily objects.
- The extension grip provides a fast and reliable method for picking up and moving small delicate objects.
- The open palm enables to carry bowls or plates naturally and safely on the palm of your hand.
- The index finger allows to ring bells and to type on a keyboard.
- The mouse grip enables one to surf the internet or play video games.
- Operate levers and press the buttons firmly.
- The side grip enables a person to grab thin objects, including plates, credit cards, and sheets of paper precisely.
- The hand relaxes for a natural and realistic look. The person can put his/her hand in the pocket and even put on clothes.
La Wunn Khaing Soe : “I have eaten with cutlery for the first time”
From Kenya, La Wunn Khaing Soe has made the trip to Mauritius with his father to get the Bebionic hand at Ottobock in Phoenix. Aged 17, La Wunn Khaing Soe was born with a congenital malformation. He has since been living without the left forearm. Fortunately now with the myoelectric hand, La Wunn’s life has been transformed and he is now living a new experience.
“I have eaten with cutlery for the first time. Holding the knife in my left hand is a very new experience for me, but a very pleasant one,” said the young man who learned to handle his new hand very quickly thanks to the supervision he received during the installation of the prosthesis.
He stated that he cannot wait to return to Kenya and introduce his new hand to his relatives and friends. “It’s quite particular and futuristic to have a hand like the ‘Terminator’. I’m very proud of it and I also feel very comfortable with it, because I can now open a bottle with both hands, use a computer mouse or tie my laces,” uttered La Wunn.
Passionate about sports, the young man practices tennis and does painting as a hobby. “I cannot wait to go back home and start painting. With my new hand, I can now hold my paddle,” he added. When it comes to his studies, La Wunn is in college and wishes to study design and architecture. “I would love to continue my studies in Canada,” he concludes with his sparkling eyes and a head full of dreams.
Other prostheses and orthoses from Ottobock
The robotic hand Bebionic is one of the various Ottobock products. The company specializes in the design of prosthetic and orthotic components as well as wheelchairs. We find prostheses for the fitting of the lower limb (feet, knees, hips) and upper limb (hands, elbows), socket technologies, as well as solutions adapted to the practice of sport and recreational activities.
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