When the much hyped "Internet of Things" (IoT) era is discussed, visions of driver-less cars and intelligent appliances come to mind as ways to make life easier.
Prosthetics and orthotics leader Hanger Inc. (HNGR) is pushing the possibilities even further in its effort to let IoT give amputees a helping hand...or leg, making IoT technology really part of a person.
A History of Innovation
Apropos of Veterans Day, the Austin, Texas-based company was founded by James Edward Hanger, the first amputee of the Civil War, who created the first modern iteration of a prosthesis after becoming dissatisfied with the "peg-legs" of his day.
As technology speeds up, Hanger and its technology partner AT&T (T) will look to make a similar advancement to the one that Hanger made some 150 years ago, utilizing virtual reality and cloud technology to aid amputees.
The industry-first technology syncs directly to the cloud via AT&T's network without relying on any network connectivity, such as Wi-Fi.
The connection allows Hanger Clinic to receive data on patients' prosthetic usage outside of clinical visits. Through the constant data reception, the clinic hopes to create ever-more effective prosthetics and reduce trauma associated with amputation recovery.
"The potential implications for quality of care and data analytics are profound as we explore migration to a connected patient and the Internet of Things in healthcare," CEO Vinit Asar said during the company's third quarter earnings call on Friday.
He added that continued investment in this area will help drive the company's core focus on patient engagement.
Hanger is currently trialing 5 IoT devices according to a recent press release.
Virtual Reality Recovery
The cloud-connected patient engagement is coupled with the company's "MiGO" virtual reality headset, introduced in April.
The new product aims to help amputees learn to function with their new limbs and adjust to life with prosthetics.
Check out the video above as they discuss the company's storied history as well as its planned leaps forward in medical technology for veterans and amputees.