Chicago Startup Developing Inexpensive Bionic Hand

(CBS) — A better bionic hand, for a fraction of the cost.

That’s the goal of a Chicago-based startup.

CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports.

Garrett Anderson lost his right hand and part of his forearm in 2005 when an improvised explosive device blew up under his truck in Iraq.

He’s adapted with a prosthetic hook, but it has limitations.

“I haven’t held my wife’s hand with my right arm since I got blown up,” Anderson says.

A bionic hand made by the startup Psyonic gives him that sensation back. He can flex the fingers because of tiny motors and gears inside the hand, which is battery operated. He’s one of the first to test it.

“When Garrett thinks about moving his hand to make a fist, our hand can recognize that,” co-founder Aadeel Akhtar says.

He says his company’s prosthetic hand can be made for $550 in raw materials, compared to comparable models that are sold for $30,000.

They’re able to keep the cost down by using materials like rubber and silicone.

“Our biggest obstacle is that we’re going to have to go through FDA approval,” Akhtar says.

Psyonic needs approval before it can head to market. Then the hope is for their product to be covered under health insurance policies.

The company is raising money through IndieGoGo.

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