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Touch Bionics brings real-life functionality to amputees

Cursed to endure amputation after contracting meningitis as an infant, Patrick, 13, now is blessed to be bionic.

He has an amazingly functional prosthetic arm and hand made by Touch Bionics of Hilliard.

And he's not alone. Mechanical wizardry that seemed the stuff of sci-fi not long ago is helping thousands of people affected by medical conditions, industrial and agricultural accidents – even war veterans.

Touch Bionics develops advanced upper-limb prosthetics. Its flagship product us the i-LIMB Hand, which has five individually powered digits.

The company relocated from Scotland to the U.S. in 2009. The Hilliard site consists of about 11,000 square feet of space used for offices, fabrication and a clinic.

"…We started with about four employees (in Hilliard). Today, we currently have about 15. The office is composed of fabrication, clinical, customer service, marketing, finance, admin support, the reimbursement team, and A/P," says spokesman Lisa Prasad.

A New York site is used for the company's LIVINGSKIN division, acquired in 2008, which specializes in "aesthetic restoration solutions" – passive prosthetic devices designed to match exactly to a person's natural skin tone.

Touch Bionics began as a spinoff from the national health system in Scotland. It's many awards include "The Most Innovative Company of the Year in Europe".

Sources: Lisa Prasad and Linda Forrest, Touch Bionics
Writer: Gabriella Jacobs
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