Perspectives on Leveraging Advancements in Adult Upper Limb Prostheses to Improve Pediatric Device Acceptance
There are many complex factors that contribute to whether a child with a congenital limb difference will use or abandon their prosthetic limb. When compared to adults with traumatic amputations, children with limb deficiencies are less likely to use a prosthesis, and many of their challenges are unique to being a child. Ultimately, for a child to adopt their device, it must facilitate the effective performance of daily activities and allow the child to be treated the same as their peers. Although numerous pediatric devices are available, they often fall short of these criteria by offering a single open-close grasp and/or non-anthropomorphic appearances. However, when looking to the field of adult prosthetics, multi-articulating myoelectric hands can provide multiple grasping configurations and have the benefit of a more ‘hand-like’ appearance. If these designs are adapted for pediatric users, their advantages have the potential to improve device acceptance. In this paper we provide a critical assessment of the state of upper limb prostheses for pediatric populations. Furthermore, we suggest ways that we may leverage recent advances in adult myoelectric devices to begin removing the barriers to pediatric device adoption. Finally, we discuss how current challenges in the adult myoelectric field must be considered to effectively translate this technology.