(Vienna, 11 September 2018) Cosima Prahm, a PhD student in the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Restoration of Extremity Function (Head: Oskar Aszmann) at the Department of Surgery of MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, has been awarded this year's Science Award Inclusion through Science and Technology (WINTEC).
The loss of a body part is a traumatic experience for anyone. Initially, patients find modern prostheses difficult to control and they have re-learn many movements, which were previously instinctive, in order to control a prosthesis. This can often be a very discouraging process. New, innovative approaches are being pursued in the specialist outpatient clinic of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Restoration of Extremity Function at the Medical University of Vienna.
The aim of the 4-year "PlayBionic" project was to provide patients with the latest knowledge about rehabilitation in a digital format and to support conventional treatment with a game-based approach. "PlayBionic" consists of two parts: a scientific study to evaluate the efficacy of game-based rehabilitation and the subsequent development of a training app, "MyoBeatz", that builds on the results of the study and can be controlled just like a real prosthesis. This enables patients to exploit the full potential of a myoelectric prosthesis.
"The aim of my work is to provide prosthetic hands that are a fully functional replacement for a real hand. Our programmed app can help patients to learn to control their prosthesis better. In this way, we are making a huge contribution to improving the quality of life of people with prosthetic hands," says the prizewinner.
About the prize
The 2018 award marks the third time that the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection has offered the Science Award Inclusion through Science and Technology (WINTEC) to encourage innovation in the area of inclusion. The science award recognises projects that help to break down barriers and promote inclusion. Accessibility for people with restricted mobility is particularly important in this context, as is barrier-free access to information in the age of the virtual information society. In this context, the terms "natural sciences" and "technology" are understood in their broader sense. The project should primarily serve to promote social interaction between people with and without any disability and thus to foster inclusion.
About Cosima Prahm
Cosima Prahm is a PhD student within the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Restoration of Extremity Function (Head: Oskar Aszmann) at the Department of Surgery, MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital. In August, she won the second elimination round of Falling Walls Lab Austria in Alpbach with her project and will therefore be travelling to Berlin in November for the grand final. This year her project also won the Vienna Chamber of Commerce 2018 Prize.