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JACO Arm by Kinova

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    JACO Arm by Kinova

    I receive both Paraplegia News and New Mobility and they ran ads this issue for this "robotic" arm which according to them can hook up to the joystick of any power chair. I searched youtube and watched several videos which were impressive, showing both fine dexterity and ability to lift and handle heavier items - one segment showed the user manipulating the arm opening a fridge, grabbing a pitcher of iced tea and lifting the pitcher so the disabled user could drink. Does anybody have feedback on this equipment. I am a para and would not benefit but it seemed like it had great potential for the right person. If so, I hope it's not horribly overpriced and I wonder if the Scrooges who run insurance companies have a blanket prohibition on covering equipment like this. After all, if they can successfully rationalize that gimps don't need shower chairs it should be easy to deny increased dexterity and range of motion.

    Here is their website:

    I have seen this demonstrated, and have a client with a C4 injury who has a similar device from Assistive Innovations: he runs with his sip-and-puff controls. The VA bought it for him.

    I agree you are unlikely to find many insurances who will cover this as it is not seen as a medical necessity but as a "convenience" device by Medicare and other insurers other than Workers' Comp and the VA.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.