Farihah Begum, Polytechnic Institute of New York University
For any problem there's always a solution. How does one go about solving the problem of a deaf man who has had his fingers amputated after a car accident? (If a deaf man loses his fingers, he has a hard time communicating using sign language.) Dan Didrick solved this problem by inventing the X-Finger.
The X-Finger is an important innovation in the field of prosthetics. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight, 10 years of work went in to this product before it was officially launched.
So what's so special about this invention? According to Didrick Medical, it is the first artificial finger that is designed for partial finger amputees. The best benefit of the X-Finger is that it is powered by the body so there is no need for any power supplies. Not only is it easy to use, but it is also lightweight -- and it actually resembles realistic fingers due to the thermoplastic cosmetic skin that is placed over the actual mechanical finger.
You can see the X-finger in action in this video:
Video posted by BusinessWire
A story on the invention posted at ASME.org explains why Didrick thinks there's a big market for his device:
What’s little realized, he said, is how many children lose fingers. The largest group of people who lose fingers outside the workplace are children under five, who undergo finger amputation due to accidents like slamming them in a car door.
He also has learned that one out of 200 people will lose one or more fingers within their lifetime. That statistic takes into account people living all over the world.
Sometimes, even though we try our best, we just don’t have control over some situations. Amputations usually result from these kinds of situations. Inventions like the X-finger keep changing the world and give people hope.