A 13-year-old Spanish girl became the first minor in Europe to receive a bionic implant last week. Carlota had been using a microelectric artificial hand for the last three years and finds the bionic one a vast improvement. It looks almost real, she can flex all her fingers and rotate the thumb. She can now use a credit card, take the tops off bottles, pour water from a bottle into a glass and type. The bionic hand, developed by the Scottish firm Touch Bionics, costs between 36,000 and 40,000 euros and will last up to six years, depending on the use given it. Carlota will have to have a check-up every six months but that’s the least of it. She says the hand has already notably improved her life. Another 14 smaller Spanish children are waiting to be fitted with bionic hands but the Scottish company only makes two sizes at present, the full adult one and Carlota’s size, so they’ll have to wait.


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