Limbitless’ mission to help children with missing limbs goes virtual in pandemic

Limbitless Solutions is back at it.
Limbitless Solutions has restarted its work on prosthetic limbs. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Orlando company that develops prosthetics for kids with missing limbs has resumed its work after coronavirus-driven slowed it down.

Limbitless Solutions CEO Albert Manero said the company will change how it gathers feedback to protect workers and patients during the pandemic.

Normally, Limbitless visits patients in person alongside an occupational therapist, with the team assessing how patients respond to the arms.

Now, that will be done mostly virtually.

“I’d still rather be in person, but we want to mitigate the risk here and do things safely in this unique time,” CEO Albert Manero, 30, told OTN.

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Dr. Albert Chi in Oregon

Limbitless has worked with renowned prosthetics expert and associate professor of surgery in the OHSU School of Medicine Dr. Albert Chi since 2018.

The partnership has helped the company better target the changes it makes on its bionic arms.

Limbitless recently scaled production back up, albeit at 20-30 percent capacity.

A updated app helps patients and families share real-time feedback on the prosthetics. The app can also track data like battery life and maintenance reports.

“We are [also] doing it through video calls and recordings,” said Manero.

Iron Man supports Limbitless

Limbitless Solutions, which has five full-time employees, has grown its reputation in Central Florida.

Shortly after it formed in 2014, Robert Downey Jr. – Hollywood’s Iron Man – gifted a kid with a bionic arm modeled after Tony Stark’s alter ego.

The high-profile photo op raised Limbitless’ profile, which, in turn, contributed to its ability to advocate for kids, Manero said.

It’s about “being able to portray them not as a defect but as a component of who they are,” Manero said of the personalized arms. “They are complete. Having representation from the celebrities or people who are the best in their field helps us advocate for the bionic kids.”

The company also recently announced a collaboration with Adobe.

The new prosthetic

The newest model of prosthetic is modular in design. It’s made up of several parts that can be swapped out for troubleshooting.

Also, the arm is Bluetooth compatible and parents can monitor the arms throughout the day through the app.

“It’s incredible to see a kid learn how to use the arm for the first time,” Manero said. “Whether it’s to give a hug or to play with their sibling with their own arm for the first time.”

“For us, that is what we love to see because it’s the use of technology. The hardware alone is just the sum of a bunch of parts. The other part makes it special.”

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