A bionic hand for children has been launched earlier this year

British child receives new bionic hand

A nine-year old boy from Fife has become the first UK child to have received a new small bionic hand designed specifically for children. 

The recipient named as Josh Cathcart was said to previously suffer from bullying at school because of his disability.

The innovative hand he received was developed by Touch Bionics and gives him a whole range of motion and control functions.

"I got it put on about two days ago. It feels quite heavy. I can stick my thumb up. I can make a pinch grip, I can get a grip for cutting with a knife,” Josh said.

"I made myself a bagel yesterday. I can open bottles and packets with it, I can stack up blocks, I can build lego with it and I can pull my trousers up."

The boy was already born with one hand missing. As he is still growing he would need an adjustment in about a year’s time to be able to continue using the hand, the i-limb Quantum, released by Touch Bionics in June this year.

"Obviously his socket's going to grow, so he'll get about nine months to a year out of this one and then he will have to come again and get a new socket,” Josh’s father James said.

Josh can control the prosthesis through electrodes positioned on the surface of his skin within the socket of the prosthesis, which has been custom-made to fit his residual limb. When he tenses the muscles, the electrodes detect electrical signal and send it into the hand making it open or close.

Josh will now have to train his muscles to be able to properly control the prosthesis.

"He's not worked these muscles because he has not used this type of prosthesis before, and obviously without having a hand he has spent about nine years of not using those muscles, but he has developed them very well this week and has been working great with them,” said Alison Goodwin, prosthetist at Touch Bionics.

"He's the youngest we've fitted so far because of the extra small hand that we now have available, so it's been great to now have the experience this week of fitting the youngest-ever person with the i-limb hand, she added.

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