Angel Giuffria’s Life as a Cyborg
Patient Perspective Angel Giuffria's prosthetic arm has empowered her to advocate for advancements in medical technologies, supporting those with limb differences.
With her recent upgrade to the Bebionic, one of the most advanced prosthetics on the market, The Hunger Games actress Angel Giuffria shares her experience being part of an exciting, tech-focused health care future.
Mediaplanet: What has been your experience with a bionic arm?
Angel Giuffria: It’s changed my everyday interactions and how I go about life. From how people respond to me at the supermarket, to how I check my phone at the airport, it has allowed me to live in a way that has been more exciting and more efficient. People see this and think, “Wow that’s cool, that must help do a lot!” I love the impression it gives, even before people get to see it function.
MP: How has your new bionic arm differed from regular prosthetics you’ve had in the past?
AG: It’s been great having a multi-articulating hand. It gives you the ability to do smaller tasks that people think aren’t important. But with new additions and control strategies, it’s much easier to use. There are even customized options which makes me more connected to the device!
Credit: James Alexander Young
MP: Has the equipment itself posed any challenges?
AG: For the most part it works well, but there are days where I’m tired and I forget to charge up. Or I take it off on my drive and leave it in my car. Every once in a while there are little challenges to work around but people with physical differences are constantly problem-solving.
MP: What new opportunities have developed because of it?
AG: It’s been amazing! I started acting professionally in 2011 and I hadn’t gotten a speaking part and was waiting for my big break. The reason I got my first union speaking part was because they were looking for someone to operate a bionic arm. That allowed me to be in the union and be a professional actress. My arm really opened a door for me that may have taken a lot longer had I not utilized it as a strength. Having this cool arm has allowed me to be in a Superbowl commercial, speak across the country, travel to places like Russia and Israel to speak about technology at conferences, and really have people understand what my life is like.
MP: What do you see as the future of bionics and its health care applications?
AG: There are endless possibilities right now for what we can do with this type of technology in health. What’s going to be amazing is the ability to replace or modify anything to do with the human body. [Science has] the ability to make bodies the best that they can to be safe, healthy, and happy.