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Reflections on the i-LIMB Hand

By Linda Forrest

Sometimes, it can be challenging to draw the connection between technological advancements and one’s personal life. Such is definitely not the case with a recent media launch that we did for a new client.

Earlier this year, inmedia had the incredible experience of being responsible for the worldwide media launch of Touch Bionicsi-LIMB Hand, the world’s first commercially available bionic hand. I completely understand the life-changing potential of this product because of personal experience.

My wonderful mother has always been able to do anything she put her mind to and has never let the fact that she was born with an abnormal left hand slow her down. Throughout my life, if people would ask about what happened to her hand, I would wonder why they were asking as she is so adept and resourceful that I would often forget that she had anything different about her hand.

At birth, her hand was misshapen due to a birth defect. As it was the early 1940s and medical science wasn’t nearly where it is today, the doctors made the poor decision to give her hand massive doses of radiation, resulting in severe radiation burns. Her parents were left with the choice between amputation and a “hook” to act as her hand or doctors could attempt to save her hand and lower arm with groundbreaking plastic surgery techniques developed on burn victims from WW2. They opted for the latter.

The many plastic surgeries and surgeons’ best efforts resulted in a patchwork of various skin grafts and immobile fingers that by her early 60s have poor circulation and have caused her near constant pain. At the onset of these problems, one of my mother’s great fears was that she would have to have her hand amputated. In fact, her situation had worsened in the past year and she had her baby finger amputated in February.

As I started to learn about Touch Bionics and the i-LIMB Hand, I kept her informed, sent her to the company’s web site and our whole family marveled at the technology and what it means not only to the prosthetics, science and medical communities at large and to amputees, but to us personally.

Although she does not currently have a requirement for the i-LIMB Hand, this development has truly made her feel more comfortable with the idea that should she need the remainder of her hand amputated at some point, there is a viable option for a replacement.

Near the launch, she said to me, “This is all so fantastic. I no longer need to be afraid I’ll lose my left hand as FINALLY a really amazing option is available. I’ve only waited my whole life for this!!!”

Thank you to Touch Bionics for the piece of mind that you’ve given my family and others like us. Your work is truly making an important difference.

A business (2.0) titan bows out

By Francis Moran

My favourite magazine arrived this week clad in a plain-paper wrapping.

No, not that kind of magazine, or that kind of plain-paper wrapping.

Rather, it was the October 2007 issue of Business 2.0, which announced on a white, wrap-around cover that this is my last issue.

I knew this was coming – the magazine revealed its decision to stop publishing a couple of weeks ago — but it’s still sad. And it represents a triumph of accounting and business case analysis over passion and excellence.

I am a huge fan of good journalism. I am passionate about writing. And I love new technology and gadgets. And every month, Business 2.0 was required reading for me because it consistently hit the excellence mark on all three points. In fact, aside from the Globe and Mail, which I also consider required reading, Business 2.0 was the only periodical that came into this office that people were under orders not to file away but, rather, to immediately put it on my desk. By the time I finished reading an average issue, several of the pages would be dog-eared so I could do further research on the stuff I had read.

It is a rare thing that a publication can excite the kind of passion in its readers that Business 2.0 engendered; even rarer for a publication that covers boring old business. I don’t care what the accountants’ numbers said, Time Inc. is mad to kill that passion.

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