Creator of World’s First Fully Articulated Bionic Hand Named a Finalist in European Inventor Award

A NHS Lothian employee is being hailed globally for his innovative work in the field of prosthetic limbs.

David Gow, Head of the Southeast Mobility and Rehabilitation Technology (SMART) Centre at NHS Lothian, has been named a finalist in the European Inventor Award for creating the i-Limb ultra revolution, a state-of-the-art prosthetic hand.

The innovative design of the i-Limb ultra revolution allows the wearer to move individual fingers and perform 24 different grips either by muscle movement or via a smartphone app.

This makes it the first ‘fully articulated' prosthetic hand globally, suitable for amputees, war veterans and those with limb defects since birth.

Muscle movement in the residual limb is detected by the hand's on-board computer and translated into movements in the prosthetic. The hand then completes any of the pre-programmed grips or gestures.

The i-limb ultra revolution is so sophisticated in its dexterity, with each finger bending at the joints, that users can carry out tasks such as gripping a sheet of paper and typing on a keypad. Its precision pinch mode enables the gripping of small objects or adopting a natural hand position for resting and walking.

The device is also able to increase the strength of its grip on an object. This can be useful in situations when needing to tie shoelaces tightly or holding a heavy bag more securely.

Scottish prosthetics expert David has been creating artificial limbs for more than three decades.

David is a finalist in the ‘Small and medium-sized enterprises’ category in the annual awards which take place on 28 May in Amsterdam.

He said: “It is a great honour to be nominated for this prestigous award and NHS Lothian and Scotland are at the heart of leading edge technology in this field.”

Colin Briggs, General Manager of Edinburgh Community Health Partnership, NHS Lothian, said: “Hearing that David is a finalist in these prestigious, industry awards underpins why David’s years of service to NHS Lothian and his innovative expertise deserve this global recognition. We wish David good luck for the results on the 28th May.”

The i-Limb ultra revolution is currently available from Livingston based firm, Touch Bionics.