Military Conflicts Drive Technological Innovation

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According to a recent study by global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, recent military conflicts resulting in a rise in the number of amputees have boosted the need for restoration of normal ambulatory functions and are driving technological growth around the world in the field of biomechatronics.

Frost & Sullivan states in its report, "Emerging Trends and Innovations in Biomechatronics," that innovations addressing medical hurdles for the usage of prosthetic devices and cost affordability of these devices are key factors affecting the growth of the biomechatronics technologies market. Biomechatronics technologies are concerned with developments in mechatronic and electromechanical prosthetics and bionic devices.

"Encouragingly, several developing countries are increasingly including prosthetic devices under their health insurance schemes, while governments are diverting greater funds to address the needs of amputees, especially war victims," notes Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights Research Analyst Vishnu Sivadevan. The high price tag of electronic adaptive prosthetic devices, such as microprocessor-controlled knees, is a limiting factor for people to be fitted with these devices, the company notes. Nevertheless, many developed countries, including Germany, France, and Italy, have modified their medical financial system to provide funding of these devices for patients. However most of the world is striving to justify the large-scale adoption of these devices despite the high cost, due to the tremendous improvement in quality of life of patients they create.

Still, technological advances continue at a fast clip. "With the funding for research and development of advanced prosthetics on the rise, biomechatronics has made fast progress in tune with the corresponding advancements in the fields of sensors, micromechatronics, and biomaterials," comments Sivadevan.

The advancements in microfabrication technologies also are driving the biomechatronics markets. Significant inroads made into sensor technology, embedded chips, artificial intelligence algorithms, and miniature microprocessors have added to technological growth.

For more information about the Frost & Sullivan study visit its Technical Insights website at

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