Learning to Use a Bionic Hand
There is a learning curve for every prosthetic device, but for first-time users, this can seem daunting. Once fitted with a new prosthesis, users need to re-learn how to perform day-to-day functions and activities and get accustomed to their new hand.
Fortunately, learning to use a bionic hand is much easier than it may seem to first-time users. Still, we've pulled together some helpful tips and tricks for users preparing for a new bionic hand, as well as learning to use the Zeus in particular.
What You'll Need to Know
Once a patient's wound is deemed ready by their rehab team and they've been fitted to their bionic hand, it's time to begin the learning process. Some patients find this aspect of the fitting and training process to be the most daunting, but are pleasantly surprised to discover the intuitive control these devices have to offer.
In order to operate their bionic hand most effectively, there are a few things that users should be aware of. First and foremost, it is important to understand how to properly care for and maintain the hand. This will include:
Cleaning the hand properly
Charging the hand
Factors such as these can make a significant impact on a patient's comfort, as well as the condition of the hand. Carefully cleaning and maintaining the hand will ensure that the hand maintains functionality, but it is important to clean the hand without overexposing it to water, as well as keeping the hand clean from dust or debris buildup.
It's also important to understand the battery life of one's specific hand and charge it regularly, lest users are unexpectedly left without the use of their hand. Similarly, users should know what to do should their hand need repairs. It's better to know this in advance than struggle to get repairs when they are needed.
Operating the Hand
Another crucial aspect of learning to use a bionic hand is re-learning how to perform daily activities, such as using the restroom, getting up from a seated position, operating keys, cooking, and countless more
Fortunately, bionic hands utilize bio-signal processing, which enables the hand to function intuitively. When performing an action, the hand will sense signals put out by the user's residual nerves and muscles, informing it of how to move. As such, the bionic hand's mode of control is similar to that of the corresponding amputated limb.
Furthermore, users will work with an occupational therapist, to practice these functions. Exercising the residual muscles can help users better operate the hand and allow the nerves and muscles to better communicate with the device.
With time, daily functions and hand motions will come without a second thought, allowing users to perform day-to-day activities seamlessly. As users get a handle on common activities, don't be afraid to try out new ones and get a feel for how the hand moves and operates. Again, there may be a slight learning curve, so practice using the hand and have an open mind.
Learning to Use Zeus
While these tips serve as a generalization for learning to use a bionic hand, we have some more specific advice for learning to use our product, the Zeus. Like any bionic hand, users will need a basic understanding of their hand's care and maintenance.
Fortunately, the Zeus is highly durable with patent-pending impact resistance and flexible fingers. Consequently, there is less of a need for repairs, but should they be necessary, the Zeus can be repaired locally in the prosthetist’s office in under 60 minutes. If a software adjustment is needed, thanks to the remote configuration of the Zeus hand, this can be done without needing to go to the prosthetists’s office.
The Zeus also holds a battery life of nearly two days, ensuring that on-the-go users will hardly ever have to stop what they're doing to charge.
In terms of operating the hand, the Zeus comes with 12 adjustable grip patterns, making it so that users can perform all of their daily activities with ease and dexterity. No matter the task or motion, the Zeus will be able to grasp items with strength or delicacy - whichever is needed.
Zeus users will work directly with a clinician or member of the Aether Biomedical team to configure their hand to their unique needs. During this time, users will be fitted to the Zeus, as well as have time to adjust its setting and begin getting to know their new hand. Soon, users will find that they can operate the Zeus as if it were an extension of their own body (which it is!).
Learning any new skill can be challenging and come with a few bumps in the road, but many users find that learning to use a bionic hand is much simpler than it first seemed - and well worth it in the end.
Ultimately, the best advice for learning to use a bionic hand is to embrace it with an open mind. With a confident mindset and a willingness to embrace trial and error, there is no "failure" in learning. In practicing this, users can significantly regain freedom and autonomy, as well as confidence in their ability to operate their hand seamlessly.
With the Zeus, in particular, learning to operate the hand is a quick and seamless process. Users have considerable opportunity for customization, allowing them to truly make the hand their own. With the advanced technology that enables the Zeus' function, users will learn to operate the Zeus with dexterity and control in no time.
While it can be daunting to embrace a change such as a new prosthetic hand, and a bionic hand at that, the Zeus is designed to help users. Once comfortable with the hand, users will be able to perform daily tasks (and unique ones) with ease.
Plus, as the Zeus is highly durable, users need not worry about everyday bumps and bruises. Instead, they can embrace the opportunity to learn something new and take their time to get comfortable with operating their hand. Once they do, users can begin to retake control of their life with their newly acquired bionic hand and open the door to endless opportunities.