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