''I see two advantages: I can take hot things without oven mitts and hands do not freeze when it is cold''
The interview with the pilot of bionic prostheses about the present and future of prosthetics in Russia
How soon will scientists create prosthesis identical to human limbs? How noticeable is the lag of the Russian technologies of prosthetics compared to foreign ones? Is it possible in Russia to get a good prosthesis using budget money, not spending millions of rubles? What problems and difficulties does a person who acquire a disability face in Russia? A pilot of bionic prostheses, SMM manager of the company Motorika Konstantin Deblikov, who a few years ago lost his hands during an explosion of pyrotechnics, answered to these and many other questions to Realnoe Vremya.
''If a person is really mature, no injury or disability breaks him''
Konstantin, what do you do now? Has your life changed significantly after the incident in 2014?
I'm working in Motorika company, we produce interesting, unusual prostheses for children and high-tech prostheses for adults. In parallel, I organize competitions of human cyborgs, I try to promote high-tech prosthetics and to change opinion of the society and people with disabilities on the issue of amputation in Russia.
As for changes in my life… I wouldn't say that my life turned upside down. I have a musical education and I used to play the guitar, but it is obvious that it is impossible to continue this activity with current prosthetics. However, I did not give up doing music, I began to play drums, electronic music. In other words, the accents have changed a little, but my hobbies remained the same. Now I have a goal in life: I understand what problems people with disabilities have in Russia, and now I have concentrated on how to try to solve these problems.
On your Facebook page you posted a curious video where well-known designer Artemy Lebedev assures you that ''if a tram runs over him and he loses his legs, then he'll just open Yandex and look for information what to do next''. He also said that he ''absolutely will not change in the case of loss of limbs''. His statement caused outrage in the comments. Don't you think that he a bit overestimated his abilities?
No, I don't think so. Moreover, I think that I have not changed a little after the amputation. In some ways, of course, my lifestyle has changed, but what the man is, for what he lives, how he sees and perceives the world – it is the basic things. I think if a person is really mature, then no injury, no disability can break him, and it is not necessarily it changes it. So, in that sense, I agree with Artemy. If to speak about change of consciousness, then I think that I did not have it, and Artemy, as a mature man, internally would not change greatly.
I used to play the guitar, but it is obvious that it is impossible to continue this activity with current prosthetics. However, I did not give up doing music, I began to play drums, electronic music. In other words, the accents have changed a little, but my hobbies remained the same
''All that children were offered were some cosmetic things that just cover the injury, hide it under silicone, thereby developing child's complexes''
Konstantin, I do not want to touch the topic of disadvantages, so I would better to ask you about benefits of prosthesis.
I can name two advantages that I see: I can take hot things without oven mitts and hands do not freeze when it is cold (laughing).
Are prostheses expensive and whether it is possible in Russia to get a good prosthesis for budget money?
It is possible, but most likely, one has to try very hard because nobody will be consumed with desire to give a person a pricey prosthesis if by legislation it is possible to give him something cheaper and of lower quality. But if a person is ''charged'', if he knows the algorithm to act, where to go and where to write a complaint, then this option is possible.
In Moscow, it is easier to obtain an expensive prosthesis than in the regions. Besides, a lot depends on how old you are, under what circumstances you got the injury, whether the prosthesis will return you the ability to live active life, to earn and return in the number of taxpayers in order to offset the cost of the prosthesis. Everything is very individually. Some people manage to get good quality prostheses at the expense of the budget (including foreign expensive prostheses), while others cannot, and, unfortunately, they get outdated traction prostheses.
Now everything is heading in the direction so that in Russia people did not buy foreign prostheses at million rubles — the government is investing in domestic developments. The prices of foreign prosthesis are very greatly exaggerated, like of any medical technology or pharmacology. Prices are very different from the cost. Again, I have to mention Motorika, the company now specialises on the creation of high-tech prostheses, which will cost about 350,000 rubles. It's already dramatically reduced prices.
Everything is fine with using computers and gadgets, I just don't use the mouse, I use a special device that allows to control the cursor. I use sensors with the help of stylus because many prostheses do not work with touchscreens, one can to get used to it
''The robotic arm should be controlled by the brain as well as have the same sensitivity''
Speaking of Motorika, since you work in a Russian company that creates prosthetics, I want to ask you: how do we lag from foreign technologies of prosthetics?
If to speak about children's prosthetics, now in Russia we do good prosthesis. Previously, in most cases, all that children were offered were some cosmetic things that just cover the injury, hide it under silicone, thereby developing child's complexes plus not giving any functionality. The situation has changed, in particular, thanks to Motorika that makes prostheses that return children functionality of their impaired limbs. So, as for children's prosthetics, now everything is getting better.
As for the high tech prosthetics, we are still lagging behind Europe and the US, but one should understand that their situation was developing differently: in last few decades various companies were actively competing against each other, different engineering teams were created, development of which were constantly compared and improved. As a result, now they have some really good products.
In fact, we are already close to so that in Russia there were qualitative means of rehabilitation, and it would be great if the government also gave attention to the issue and investments, of course.
In fact, we are already close to so that in Russia there were qualitative means of rehabilitation, and it would be great if the government also gave attention to the issue and investments, of course
''It would be extremely tolerant to tell a person without a leg: ''I do not like your dance, you are a bad dancer''
Let's say such situation happened, I want to communicate with people who are with me ''in the same boat'' so as not to drown completely in the depression and learn useful things. Where do I go?
Absolutely nowhere. Now they have to look for separate people online. Different people write me every day, asking questions. For now, we communicate only this way.
Of course, you can go to a regional unit of the society of the disabled, but, for example, when I went to our… Honestly, I ran out of there because there was only depression and just some kind of horror going on. Complete hopelessness.
Maybe you have a desire to improve the situation on you own somehow?
I'm trying to do it, I have plans to create a non-profit organization. I hope that everything will work out and I can bring people together, help young and not very young people who are in a difficult situation. Generally, such movement should come from the disabled people themselves and not from the government. If they are active, then other people will have a disability, it will be much easier because there will be a live community.
What is the situation with the attitude of our society towards people with disabilities? I remember a lot of unpleasant cases, including the situation with Renata Litvinova and Evgeny Smirnov.
It just so happened that for centuries in Rus' and Russia the attitude towards people with disabilities were like to defective, dependent, unhappy people. But in fairness it should be noted that this attitude, of course, has considerably transformed in recent years. Actually, I think that in the basis of this behaviour there is the fear of disability, because that's what we don't want to think about, it is what reminds us of death, it is what causes some negative emotions.
It seems to me, to say to a man with no leg: ''I do not like your dance because you are a bad dancer'' would be extremely tolerant and correct, because it is exactly the same person who can dance well and can dance badly
I think the situation will change much more actively, if, in the first place, people with disabilities themselves begin to change the attitude. The more these people are in media, on television, on the Internet, the more active they are, the better it will be for the society that will begin to get used to people with disabilities, and begin to treat them quite normally.
The situation with Litvinova and Posner happened due to the fact that people do not fully understand how to treat people with disabilities. It seems to me, to say to a man with no leg: ''I do not like your dance because you are a bad dancer'' would be extremely tolerant and correc, because it is exactly the same person who can dance well and can dance badly. If you don't like how a disabled person dances, then you can tell him directly, and that's all — nothing wrong with that. We should learn how to look at all people equally.