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:

Watch a demo of the mPower 1000:


Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Marketing Executive, London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly prestigious luxury b...

    C++ Software Developer / Image Processing / 3D Visualisation

    £45,000 to £55,000: IT Connections Ltd: C++ Software Developer / Image Process...

    Java / J2EE Developer / Agile / Linux

    £30,000 to £40,000: IT Connections Ltd: Java / J2EE Developer / Agile / Linux ...

    Software Development Manager / Java / J2EE

    £45,000 to £55,000: IT Connections Ltd: Software Development Manager / Java / ...

    Day In a Page

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor