A Much Deserved Second Chance

I think we all understand how horrible the events are that took place at the Boston Marathon. It left 3 dead and over 140 injured, many of them athletes that were trying to accomplish their goals of finishing the Boston Marathon. Among the victims were several runners that lost legs in the explosions. Running was a giant part of these people’s lives and many years ago the marathon would have been the last time they would ever run. But with the new prosthetic technology, it may be possible for them to run again, and even finish a marathon.

Prosthetic technology has increased greatly over the past few years, mainly from the extra funding given due to wartime. The president of Next Step Orthotics and Prosthetics says that “It’s no longer the peg leg mentality,” and that we’ve gone from wood to robotics.” The new iWalk BiOM is the newest bionic prosthetic joint that has sophisticated computer chips and motors to help with motion. Older models were basically spring designs allowing subtle movements to occur. Now these prosthetics can give the amputee back full range of motion, including climbing up hills which was thing no prosthetics before it could do. A good example is that now people with prosthetic legs have competed in the Olympics, most notably Oscar Pistorius.

This exponential increase in the technology of prosthetics can be explained through Moore’s Law. Moore’s law states that every 18 months the performance per dollar of computer chips doubles. It was the exponential increase in the output of computer chips that allowed for the new prosthetic legs to be this advanced. A couple of years ago, computer chips were not advanced enough to be used in prosthetics for movement, but in a short amount of time the technology of chips has increased so dramatically that it can be used to complete a full range of motion. These prosthetic limbs show off the positive side of the double edged sword of technology, and there seems to be almost no downside.

These prosthetic legs can help the victims of the Boston Bombing heal and recover from their injuries. The author of an article on these prosthetics says that he hopes that any runner who lost one or even two legs in the Boston Marathon blasts will one day finish the race on prosthetic limbs. This is now a possibility with the new technology of prosthetics, and could improve the lives of all the victims involved in the bombing. Read more and watch the video here: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/bostom-bombing-amputees-benefit-wartime-prosthetic-technology/story?id=18981301#.UXTg77Xqkuc





5 thoughts on “A Much Deserved Second Chance

  1. This shows a very sobering real life application of technology. We all love our iPhones and laptop computers, as we should, but something like this makes us realize there can be a far more fundamental usage of technology. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to give all those who were harmed in the tragedy that was the 2013 Boston Marathon a chance to walk again with these advanced prosthetics. This can also have a positive externality on the rest of the world. As we saw in the London 2012 Olympics, athletes like Oscar Pistorius being able to compete athletically with prosthetic legs is an inspiring and heart warming sight to see.

    This also offers a nice alternative to putting these injured people into wheelchairs. Prosthetic limbs allow these people to resume their lives in as normal a way as possible. All our hearts go out to those who were injured just a week ago, and they surely deserve the best prosthetic limbs technology can provide.

  2. Great article, I like how you focused on the real-life application of technology. The prosthetic limbs are amazingly advanced from the first model of them. The Boston Bombings were a horrible tragedy and a good number of people had to have the limbs amputated. I can’t imagine what that must be like but my heart goes out to those victims. At least we can be grateful that this technology is available to them and can help them lead relatively normal lives. In this situation, technology is incredibly helpful and its use is one of ultimate good.

  3. In a time where hearts are broken to the extent they were after the Boston marathon, communities need to come together. Sometimes its individual people, or groups, or the whole country to help support a community and get it back on its feet, stronger than ever before. I have been thinking lately that the greatest chance for Boston and the surrounding areas to do so is at the next marathon. The city has already made huge steps, thanks to all the great people in this world. I truly see next year’s Marathon Monday as an opportunity and a memory that will change the lives of the community here forever. Your article only solidifies this. Those who were most hurt by this tragedy now have their chance to fight back. They can step up, literally, to the starting line and finish at the end thanks to the innovations of technology. You did a great job explaining how this can take place, and the article is hope-inducing. It makes me look to the future and realize that technology can help us overcome the struggles of life. In some sense, technology is our friend. Also, I love the title. Couldn’t be more appropriate. Let’s look to the future to see what else technology and humans can overcome together.

  4. Definitely the perfect time for this technology to begin and continue to emerge. Surrounding the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, it’s great to see a real technological necessity implemented. I really liked the application of Moore’s Law into the technology that surrounds prosthetic limbs. As the science behind the technology advances, is it possible for those without legs to appear and go about their day as a fully functional, strong human being? With technology’s general mission being to better society, these new prosthetics being developed may give those affected a chance to walk, run, and essentially live out a normal life yet again. Great blogpost showing that technology can be life-changing and tackle even the greatest of dilemmas.

  5. Great post. I never really thought about this in the wake of last week’s events, but now that you brought it up, I completely agree. The fact that runners who lost their legs in the bombings may be able to once again run in the Boston Marathon is an amazing thing to think about. Prosthetic limb technology has emerged so much recently, as you mentioned with Pistorius running in the Olympics, and I think it is truly a great thing. Being able to use technology to truly change someone’s life and help them accomplish otherwise impossible tasks is amazing and is the real goal we should be trying to reach with advances in technology.

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