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Hanger Clinic patient among first in world to receive bionic hand controlled by smart device application

South Easton, Mass., May 20, 2013 – Recently, 48-year-old Scituate resident Mike Benning became one of the first people in the world to receive the i-limb ultra revolution, the newest bionic hand available. Last week Boston-area journalists attended Benning’s clinical follow-up appointment with his local Hanger clinician Brian Heckathorn, CPO and Hanger Upper Extremity Specialist Matt Mikosz, CP, LP. Following are some of the resulting news stories:

WFXT-TV (FOX): Scituate man has new grip on life after surviving cancer
WCVB-TV (ABC): Man says bionic hand nothing short of miraculous
WHDH-TV (NBC): Mass. man receives first of its kind bionic arm, hand
WBZ-TV (CBS): Scituate Man Gets Bionic Hand

When he was only 14, Benning was forced to have his left arm amputated below-the-elbow due to an aggressive type of cancer. However, today, Benning is cancer-free, thriving with the new bionic technology, and serving as an inspiration to others.

The i-limb ultra revolution is the first upper limb prosthesis that can be controlled via a mobile application, and its advanced features allow Benning to use his prosthetic hand for simple tasks that many take for granted such as:

   -Hold his cell phone without covering the screen
   -Hold hands with his daughter
   -Use two hands when throwing the football with his son
   -Prepare food much easier 
   -For the first time since he lost his hand, Benning is now able to clap his hands and make a sound due to the available positioning of the thumb on his prosthesis.

Benning says the new technology is the closest thing to his natural hand that he’s experienced since losing his so many years ago, and it has made a world of difference in his life.

Benning is also a certified peer visitor and regional coordinator for Amputee Empowerment Partners (AEP), a program that prepares amputees who are successfully living with limb loss to serve as role models and to provide support and encouragement for other people who are seeking to adjust to life with limb loss.

About the i-limb ultra revolution – The device features a powered rotating thumb, 24 grip options and extra sensitive electrodes, and can be controlled via the biosim mobile control app. The movement of the thumb can be either controlled directly by the flexing of muscles in the user’s residual limb, or can move automatically into position as part of a pre-set grip pattern or gesture, where before, the user would have to manually position the thumb. The new Quick Grips™ option from the biosim mobile control app allow users such as Benning to automatically activate 24 different grip patterns and gestures on their prosthesis with a single tap of the screen. For example, Benning can set grip patterns he uses most at work and when he arrives at the office, change the setting via the app to easily use his work-related grip patterns to make things such as typing and holding the phone much easier. For more information, visit http://www.touchbionics.com/products/active-prostheses/i-limb-ultra-revolution/.

About Hanger Clinic: Founded in 1861 by the first amputee of the Civil War, Hanger Clinic, a business unit of Hanger, Inc. (NYSE: HGR), owns and operates eight patient care clinics in Massachusetts and 750+ nationwide. The certified clinicians of Hanger provide patients with the latest in orthotic and prosthetic solutions, including microprocessor devices for those with limb loss and neuromuscular technologies for those with paralysis due to stroke, MS and other debilitating conditions. For more information, visit www.hanger.com.

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Jennifer Bittner, Hanger, Inc.
512-777-3730, jbittner@hanger.com 

Krisita Burket, Hanger, Inc.
904-249-0314, kburket@hanger.com 

For more stories like this, visit www.hanger.com/aboutus/newsroom, www.Facebook.com/HangerNews, and www.Twitter.com/HangerNews.