Medicine: Capsules

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A new electrically operated metal hand for victims of paralysis and for amputees with some types of artificial hands has been invented by Charles V. Giaimo, vice president of Lionel Corp. (toy trains). Manufactured on a nonprofit basis by Lionel, the glovelike device fits snugly over the thumb and forefinger. Two powerdriven cables move the paralyzed fingers; the cables in turn are controlled by a pushbutton that can be worked by the other hand, by blowing through a tube or by pressure under the armpit. The metal hand has already enabled handicapped individuals to write, use the telephone and eating utensils, brush their teeth and even shave. The Wisconsin Blue Cross and the Milwaukee Medical Society's Surgical Care (a Blue Shield plan) announced new "Catastrophic Policies" to take over where ordinary medical-insurance contracts end. Designed to finance treatment of drawn-out illnesses (including mental and nervous disorders), the new policies will pay 75% of the total expenses up to $10,000 after the patient has put out $200 from his own pocket. Catastrophic Policies will be sold only to groups of 50 or more who are already enrolled in the basic insurance plans. Estimated cost of full coverage for one person: $60 a year.