World's First Functional Artificial Finger

Votes: 2
Views: 19136
Medical

I am proud to have designed the first functional artificial finger for amputees; called X-Fingers. These simple yet effective tools enable finger amputees to control the movement of each replaced phalange. The devices move as quickly as real fingers restoring considerable strength and dexterity. The devices are body-powered and no batteries or motors are needed; allowing for uninterrupted use. The devices replace 1-10 missing fingers lost at any length. Furthermore, no surgeries are needed and the devices are as easy to apply and remove as a glove. Once applied, a supple cosmetic cover fits over the assembly for added realism.

Approximately 94% of all non-fatal amputations involve fingers. More than one in every two hundred people will lose one or several fingers in their lifetime. Until the X-Finger the only form of prosthetic rehabilitation available for finger amputees were cosmetic silicone replacements. Although these silicone fingers look realistic they do not bend or function in any way. X-Fingers operate by the movement of the user’s remnant finger. If someone loses an entire finger, an opposing finger controls the artificial fingers movement. When all of the fingers are missing, the movement of the palm controls the movement of all missing fingers.

While many of us have seen robotic-like artificial fingers moving on prosthetic limbs, these moving fingers were always attached to an artificial hand. Therefore, if someone loses one or several fingers, but still has their palm intact, an artificial hand cannot be used. X-Fingers replace a portion of any missing fingers or fingers in their entirety.

X-Fingers are the only functional artificial fingers that replace missing fingers for partial and full finger amputees. Furthermore, every major insurance carrier in the US has validated the medical necessity of X-Fingers by covering their cost. The devices are FDA registered and CE Marked under the Medical Device Directive.

The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimates that individuals with limited use of their hands earn approximately half of those with full use of their hands. For the first time, finger amputees are able to continue forward in their chosen profession. We also rehabilitate wounded US soldiers and have recently begun rehabilitating wounded British Soldiers as well.

After developing the X-Finger I was contacted by the US Department of Defense to develop a functional thumb. I have since completed two designs; one for individuals with a portion of their thumb remaining and one for individuals whose thumbs are entirely missing. I then completed a distal fingertip design that enables individuals missing the distal phalange the restore complete control of the articulation of the replaced phalange. Any configuration of these devices can be combined for full rehabilitation depending on each user’s specific needs. In all, more than 500 configurations of assemblies can be fabricated using an interchangeable series of components I designed.

I am proud to have developed the first functional artificial fingers for amputees and for having this opportunity to compete in the Create the Future Design Contest. Thank you for reading my submission.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Daniel Didrick
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Business Owner/Manager
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    never
  • Daniel's favorite design and analysis tools:
    My favorite design tool is Solid Works. I am not an engineer, therefore had to teach myself how to use CAD. I purchased SolidWorks and was able to use their tutorial to teach myself how to use the product. It was an easy process for me, therefore have not
  • For managing CAD data Daniel's company uses:
    SolidWorks PDMWorks
  • Daniel's hobbies and activities:
    I spend my free time running the World Hand Found.
  • Daniel belongs to these online communities:
    Facebook
  • Daniel is inspired by:
    As my designs restore function to finger amputees I am inspired by their desire to continue in their chosen path.
    I have developed the world’s first functional artificial finger; which require no batteries or motors to operate. The devices, which are called X-Fingers, were developed by creating a series of reciprocally and transversely interconnected components.
    When applied X-Fingers move as quickly as real fingers restoring strength and dexterity. Furthermore, no surgeries are required and individuals missing from 1-10 fingers can apply or remove them as easily as a glove.
    X-Fingers are patented, registered with the FDA, CE Marked under the MDD and have been covered by every major insurance company in the US. X-Fingers offer a global solution for finger loss; which comprises 94% of all non-fatal amputation cases.
    Because of the benefit offered, I am inspired to continue raising awareness of this technology that is needed for adults and children alike around the world.
  • Software used for this entry:
    SolidWorks
  • Patent status:
    patented