New neuro-robotic arm could aid stroke patients

A startup company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is aiming to improve the lives of stroke patients with a new invention four years in the making: a neuro-robotic arm brace that helps patients improve lost motor function in their arms.

Dubbed the mPower 1000, the product was developed by a 12-person startup called Myomo, Inc. The company aims to debut the device's capabilities at the American Occupational Therapy Association annual conference and expo in Philadelphia, April 14-17.

The device fits like a sleeve on a person's arm, and features "sensors that sit on the skin's surface and detect even a very faint muscle signal," according to the company's latest announcement. The brain sends a signal to the muscle, and the mPower 1000 kicks into action, providing motorized assistance. Over time, the product can help people relearn how to move affected muscles, and therapy can begin at any point post-stroke, even 20 years later, according to the company.

The US Food and Drug Administration cleared the product for home and clinical use, and the company is targeting patients suffering arm mobility impairment from strokes, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and traumatic brain injuries.

The device is deemed portable and "super light" at 1lb 14 oz (.846 kg). Myomo plans to market the mPower 1000 for in-home use, complete with a structured program, smartphone app, and video game mechanics - and the Bluetooth-enabled device connects to a Web portal so physicians can keep tabs on a patient's progress.

The mPower 1000 sells for $5,250, compared to $80,000 for stationary rehabilitation devices commonly found in hospitals. So far, Myomo is drumming up interest with partnerships with hospitals and clinics around Boston, Chicago, and Southern California, as well as Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Pairing stroke patients with virtual reality tools such as motion-tracking video games, robotic gloves and 3D googles to retrain the brain and enhance mobility isn't a new concept, and robotics engineers have been scrambling to develop better, more streamlined methods for years. Another competing product announced earlier this month is the Biomedical Sensor Glove, developed by four US engineering undergraduate students for a startup company called Jintronix Inc. Like the mPower 1000, this glove is designed for at-home usage with minimal supervision from physicians. While still in development, it is cited as costing around $1,000 (€688) to produce, according to a press announcement.

Read more about the mPower 1000: http://www.myomo.com

Watch a demo of the mPower 1000: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DDo1g0vtlM

 

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Life and Style
i100

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    MATHS TEACHER, PERMANENT VACANCY, TONBRIDGE SCHOOL

    Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is currently ...

    HR Advisor - HR Officer - Employment Law - East London - £25000

    £25000 per annum + 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: *** HR Advisor - HR Office...

    ENGLISH TEACHER, FULL TIME SUPPLY ROLE, DOVER SCHOOL

    Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: TEACHER OF ENGLISH NEEDED for lo...

    Nursery assistants required in Cambridgeshire

    £10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified and unquali...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week