NHS launches world’s first trial of 3D printed bionic hands

World’s first clinical trial of bionic hands as a new type of prosthesis will start in Bristol this week.

The 3D printed devices for child amputees will begin its trial with 10 children at a local hospital in Bristol.

As reported by The Independent, the six month trial will be run by a Bristol-based firm, Open Bionics, who have designed the bionic hands to be produced at a fraction of the cost of the current models.

Tilly Lockey, an 11-year-old from Durham who lost her hands after she developed meningitis as a baby told the BBC that her bionic hand “looks awesome and it makes you feel confident”.

“Instead of people thinking they feel sorry for you because you don’t have a hand, they’re like: ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a cool hand!’” she said.

The 3D-printed devices will be based on popular Disney characters and the NHS hopes to have them available for clinical use soon.

The hands cost £5,000 and only takes one day to make. Once the trial succeeds, the Open Bionics team will apply for a grant of £1 million to offer the product at NHS clinics across the country.

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