Next-Generation Myomo, Inc. System Helps People With Stroke/Neurological Impairments Move Their Arms Again

This article was originally published here

CAMBRIDGE, MA–(Marketwire – March 15, 2011) –

Myomo, Inc., the developer of solutions for restoring mobility, has launched the Myomo Mobility System, a comprehensive program that helps neurologically impaired people move their arms again, maintain their movement and return to routine daily activities.

The system is based on the new mPower 1000, the next-generation of Myomo’s award-winning neuro-robotic arm brace. The system integrates Myomo’s PERL Technique, an evidence-based therapy program; an Android-based Connected Health Platform for tracking progress; and Games For Health for augmented therapy at home. Myomo’s neuro-robotic technology has been clinically proven effective in stroke patients from two days to 21 years post-stroke and is used in both clinical and home settings.

“Today’s announcement is the first step toward our long term vision to integrate different technologies and treatments that get people moving again, give them hope, and let them be where they want to be — at home,” said Steve Kelly, CEO of Myomo.

The mPower 1000
The mPower 1000 is a neuro-robotic arm brace that fits like a sleeve on a person’s arm. The sleeve has sensors that sit on the skin’s surface and detect even a very faint muscle signal. When the brain sends a signal to the muscle, indicating intention to move, the mPower 1000 provides motorized assistance. The device can be worn as a functional aid, used during exercise to maintain gains or applied as a rehabilitation device that re-teaches arm movement to the brain.

“What I found most intriguing when I first saw the Myomo in action was that it senses the patient’s intent to move and then augments that movement as opposed to having an outside stimulus cause the muscle to contract,” said Rose Ann Weinstein, founder of Able Place Physical Therapy in Los Angeles. “The Myomo device provides direct feedback to the user, reinforcing successful movement strategies. That reinforcement is the key to improving motor function in an affected upper extremity.”

The mPower 1000 is based on technology developed at MIT, and is lightweight and portable. It has on-board controls for easy use and built-in Bluetooth capability. The mPower 1000 is cleared by the FDA for use in the home and in clinics. It is intended to increase arm movement affected by neuro-logical conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy (CP), muscular dystrophy (MD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The new device will be publicly demonstrated for the first time in April at Alexian Brothers in Chicago and the AOTA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

PERL (Push, Eat, Reach, Lift) Technique
Myomo has developed the PERL Technique, a set of research-based treatment plans that integrate the mPower 1000 into therapy programs that aim to increase functional activity. Level I and Level II programs, based on the person’s condition, outline a week-by-week progression of therapy to maximize outcomes.

“The PERL Technique helps people achieve targeted functional gains — pushing, eating, reaching and lifting. As the result of a recent study completed at the University of Cincinnati, we are pleased to have a research-based program that is specific to the Myomo device,” said Ela Lewis, EVP of Clinical Services, Myomo.

myProgress is an Android-based Connected Health Platform that tracks and measures progress while using the mPower 1000. It was developed in collaboration with the Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center based at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. During each exercise/therapy session, myProgress can capture measurements related to range of motion with and without assistance, number of movements, duration of session, and more. Session data can be trended over time to demonstrate progress and help maintain motivation on therapy compliance. A web based portal enables clinicians to securely track their patient’s usage at home.

“The potential impact of these measurements cannot be overstated,” said James Osborn, executive director of the QoLT Center. “There is currently little quantitative data captured about movement during post-acute care. Myomo’s ability to capture such data across the care continuum could optimize therapists’ time with their patients, motivate patients to achieve measurable results and facilitate an evidence-based approach to rehabilitation.”

Developed at Northern Ireland’s University of Ulster as a result of collaboration between the School of Computing and Information Engineering and the School of Health Science, myGames is a virtual reality-based therapeutic training system. Its objective is to encourage brain injured patients with upper limb motor disorders to practice physical exercises.

Physically-based virtual reality games allow the player to interact with both real and virtual objects in a structured game environment. The system provides physics simulation techniques in therapy which have the potential for therapeutic benefit to motor rehabilitation. A framework for physically-based virtual reality rehabilitation systems consists of functional tasks and game scenarios designed to encourage patients’ physical activity in highly motivating, physics-enriched virtual environments where factors such as gravity can be scaled to adapt to individual patient’s abilities and performance.

“As a standalone product, myGames allows impaired people to have fun while performing repetitive movements that have been clinically proven to promote motor recovery,” said Dr Michael McNeill of University of Ulster. “Combining Myomo’s neuro-robotics with myGames results in a potentially very effective therapeutic program to increase the ability to perform functional tasks.”

About Myomo
Myomo develops solutions that increase mobility for neurologically impaired people. Its mPower m1000 neuro-robotic arm brace helps people with neuro-muscular impairments, regain movement in their arms. The company combines technology developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with rehabilitation professionals trained at the best hospitals in the country, to help people patients regain independence. For more information, visit Join us on Facebook at Facebook. Follow us on Twitter at @myomoinc.

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