The Human Bionic Project catalogs all the FDA-approved prosthetics and other bionic devices currently available. Its creator says it should serve as a starting research point for amputees and others, and will grow with input from the public.
MIT graduate student David Sengeh and a team of researchers are working on an interactive data repository, the Human Bionic Project, that contains information on every kind of FDA-approved replacement body part and bionic technology available. These range from prosthetics to nanoparticle delivery systems, and provide patients and researchers with “a first information point” for the latest data. Currently the repository includes between 40 and 50 reference points for different body parts and systems, and eventually the team will seek videos from the public demonstrating various devices.
What’s the Big Idea?
The Human Bionic Project attempts to bridge the gap between the latest technology, patients, and prosthetic designers, many of whom know very little about devices outside of their own specialty. For his part, Sengeh is a native of Sierra Leone, where amputation was one of many tactics used during the most recent civil war. He hopes that the project will help change the conversation around disability. Using his adviser, MIT professor and double-amputee Hugh Herr, as an example, Sengeh says, “If [he] has bionic ankles and can do everything I can do…when we’re at that point, we’re just human.”
Embedded in a cell phone or in accessories such as rings, bracelets or watches, the novel tools aim to make it easier to manage hypertension. But they must still pass several tests before hitting the clinic.