Perhaps most importantly, the new technology can provide performance data via the smartphone app, much like hooking up a vehicle to an auto diagnostic machine to determine how it's running, McCormack said.
“That information always has been communicated subjectively — How do you feel? What's bothering you?” McCormack said.
The technology also makes it easy to check battery life, a process that now often requires removing and disassembling a prosthesis.
“There are times you want to know when your ankle's about to die,” he said.
About a dozen people are beta testing the Magellan, some for up to six months, Adams said.
Testers have been positive about the device, particularly liking the ability to make adjustments easily, he said.
The company also received more requests from people who want to be involved in the testing process after the product was mentioned in a Wall Street Journal story this week.
“Those are all just very, very positive signs for us,” Adams said.
McCormack said agreements have been reached for Medicare and insurance providers to cover some of the cost of the device, with Medicare agreeing to cover about $15,000.
“Our goal is not to create more expensive devices, but to bring a high-technology application to the majority of the people,” he said.