Direct to consumer prosthetics are game changers

TrueLimb 3D printed prosthetic from Unlimited Tomorrow

Imagine a prosthetic arm that costs one tenth of the current going rate ($80,000), and is custom made and 3D printed to be an exact match for the missing limb. Young entrepreneur Easton LaChappelle is doing just that, using a scanner, and delivering a prosthetic in as short as two weeks. TrueLimb is using a direct to consumer model, cutting out the medical prosthetics industry. Think of it as Warby Parker for prosthetics — sending a limb straight to your door. CNET

dis-rup-shun: Staggering — the way in which a bright mind with a passion for a solution can disrupt a well-established industry and push it to a new level. Expect a big established player to trade twenty-four year old Mr. LaChappelle many hundreds of millions of dollars for his small company so that it (the incumbent) can have a future.

Musk demonstrates Neuralink

On Saturday, Elon Musk, acting as spokesman for his own company, demonstrated Neuralink’s early products, implanted into the brains of three pigs. The coin-sized device combines AI with brain functions. Musk’s demonstration focused on the potential for the product, including helping people with limb damage, blindness, and Parkinson’s disease, to name a few.  The installation of the link node is to be performed by a robot, without blood loss, inside of an hour. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Two years ago it would be easy and convenient to brush off Musk’s bold claims and simply label him an overconfident tech tycoon. With Tesla topping the valuation of global automakers, factories humming on several continents, and with the successful SpaceX journey to the International Space Station and safe return, Musk’s credibility is high. Is he the Thomas Edison of our time? If so, Neuralink could be his most important and useful contribution yet.

Amazon wins FAA approval for package delivery

Amazon is the third delivery company to gain FAA approval for its drone delivery service, following Alphabet owned Wing and UPS. Amazon’s Prime Air drones can deliver packages of five pounds or less to a distance of about 15 miles. The drones are approved to operate in areas of low density. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Interesting to note that the service can operate in low density areas and deliver in a 15 mile radius, which seems counter-productive given that Amazon is unlikely to have its mega distribution centers in low density populations. On the other hand, perhaps it is more efficient to send a drone launching truck to rural and more remote suburban areas where 10 deliveries are scheduled and have drones complete the last ten to fifteen miles, then return to a mobile base, rather than sending a truck to each and every location.

China introduces new legislation for company sales, complicating TikTok

China responded to the U.S. government’s prohibition against certain companies deemed to be a potential security risk by enacting new requirements that the Chinese government must approve sales of certain technologies. This legislation could certainly block the sale of TikTok to whatever party ultimately seeks to purchase it (Walmart/Microsoft, Oracle). CNN

dis-rup-shun: The new legislation is a logical counter-punch to Trump’s executive orders. If the U.S. government is going to intervene in the free market for security reasons, why shouldn’t the Chinese government — for security and strategic asset purposes — do the same? Brick by brick, walls blocking free trade between the two countries continue to rise. Will the next U.S. president continue to raise the wall, or use the current restrictions as a new base from which to redefine rules of trade? Stay tuned.