The technology of Integrum, a Sweden-based limb prosthesis company, has been featured in the SVT documentary Robothanden (Robot Hand), which focuses on Masoud, a survivor of the tragic Gothenburg discothèque fire in 1998.
After severe burn injuries, Masoud got the most advanced Robot Hand in the world.
The fire, which broke out on October 29, 1998 at Hisingen island in Gothenburg, Sweden, happened during a Halloween celebration attended by many teenagers, mostly from the immigrant communities. It resulted in 63 deaths and more than 200 injured, and it was later determined to be an arson attack. Masoud, who was 17 at the time, suffered horrific injuries from the fire. Aside from sustaining burns all over his body and face, he also lost an eye, all fingers on his right hand except the thumb, and his left arm below the elbow.
Almost 25 years later, Masoud received an advanced prosthetic left arm, robotically controlled through his thoughts. The technology behind this arm is the e-OPRA™ Implant System, which was developed by Integrum, and the surgery was lead by Dr Rickard Brånemark, the company's founder and owner. Osseointegration, the underlying principle behind Integrum's implants, was developed by Brånemark's father, Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark.
The prosthesis is connected directly to Masoud's bone, nerves, and muscles, allowing for an unrestricted range of motion, precise and reliable control, direct and intuitive neural sensory feedback, and a more stable mechanical attachment.
“Masoud is such a strong man with a fantastic character. The fire took away so much from him, but he never gave up. He volunteered for this new surgery, to help himself and others following him to improve function for amputees. Now, with his new arm, he can now start embracing life again,” Brånemark said.
According to Brånemark, Robothanden shows that there is hope for victims of severe burns or accidents to bounce back and regain function of the limbs they've lost, and that people with devastating injuries can benefit from the new technology that is being developed to improve their lives. He also hopes that the documentary can encourage more medical researchers and inventors to improve on existing technologies and provide a better future for amputees and their families.
Dr. Rickard Brånemark MD PhD, Founder and CEO of Integrum.
Brånemark says that the documentary also shows the contributions of people like Masoud, who participate in experimental treatments and technologies, to the field of medicine. He believes that the true medical pioneers are the patients who dare to take on a new technology used in humans for the first time.
“These brave pioneers are investing their own life to help many others, and that fact is often forgotten in how we look at improvements in medicine. I'm reminded of a research participant who is a US military veteran who lost an arm and a leg in the war. I asked him why he volunteered for the study, and he said that aside from the benefit to himself, he is also doing this for his son, who is also in the military. According to him, he'd gladly be a guinea pig if it meant having a technology that would help his son, should he also lose a limb in the line of duty,” Brånemark says.
Name: Rickard Brånemarkl, CEO
Email: [email protected]