By: Brian Johnson @MassDevice
The dawn of the Bionic Man is upon us.
Millions have watched dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost a foot in the Boston Marathon bombing last year, perform for the first time since the terrorist attack as part of the 2014 TED conference last month.
But if Haslet-Davis had relied on Medicare for her health insurance, she would have been denied access to the revolutionary prosthesis made by Bedford’s BiOM. That’s because the government health insurer won’t reimburse patients for the cutting-edge device, which can cost as much as $150,000.
“Bionic integration and how electro-mechanics attach to the body and [are] implanted inside the body are beginning to bridge the gap between disability and ability, between human limitation and human potential,” BiOM founder Hugh Herr, a robotics professor at the Mass. Institute of Technology and a double amputee, said during the presentation at the TED conference.
The most important point in Herr’s presentation may have been a little-noticed reference to Medicare.