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FDA Approves Marketing for Prosthetic Arm System Capable of Complex Tasks

Brand X Pictures/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved marketing on Friday for the first prosthetic arm that can perform complex tasks by transmitting signals from a person's muscles.

According to an FDA statement, the DEKA Arm System "can perform multiple, simultaneous powered movements controlled by electrical signals" from EMG electrodes. The prosthesis is the same shape and weight of an adult arm and can perform a number of actions that can't be done with a normal prosthetic arm.

A study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that users of the DEKA arm system could use keys and locks, prepare food, feed themselves, use zippers and brush or comb their hair -- all activities they could not do with their current prosthesis.

The DEKA arm system can only be configured for people who lost their arm at the shoulder joint, mid-upper arm, or mid-lower arm -- not those who lost their arms at the elbow or wrist.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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