Volume 51 Number 1, 2014
Pages 27 — 38
Abstract — This article summarizes feedback from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) subjects and clinicians gathered during the VA optimization study of the DEKA Arm. VA subjects and clinicians tested two DEKA Arm prototypes (second-generation [gen 2] and third-generation [gen 3]). Features of the prototypes in three configurations are described. DEKA used feedback from the VA optimization study and from their own subjects to refine the gen 2 prototype. Thirty-three unique subjects participated in the VA evaluation; 26 participated in the gen 2 evaluation (1 subject participated twice), 13 participated in the gen 3 evaluation, and 5 participated in both gen 2 and gen 3 evaluations. Subject data were gathered through structured and open-ended surveys, interviews, and audio- and videotaped sessions. Study prosthetists and therapists provided ongoing feedback and completed surveys at the end of each subject’s protocol. Eleven categories of feedback were identified: weight, cosmesis, hand grips, wrist design, elbow design, end-point control, foot controls, batteries and chargers, visual notifications, tactor, and socket features. Final feedback on the gen 3 was generally positive, particularly regarding improvements in wrist design, visual notifications, foot controls, end-point control, and cosmesis. Additional refinements to make the device lighter in weight, eliminate external wires and cables, and eliminate the external battery may further enhance its perceived usability and acceptability.
Key words: amputation, assistive technology, DEKA Arm, optimization, prosthetics, qualitative, satisfaction, upper limb, usability, Veterans.
Go to TOP
Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, April 9, 2014 3:08 PM