A recent study provides evidence suggesting that the Walkasins wearable sensory prosthesis may help patients with peripheral neuropathy and experience gait and balance issues improve their balance and walking ability.
Walkasins are engineered with a footpad that detects when the wearer begins to lose balance, and sends a signal to a cuff worn around the calf. The cuff then vibrates to help the wearer know which way they are leaning, allowing them to correct their balance.
The study, conducted at the Minneapolis VA, included 31 veterans with peripheral neuropathy and balance problems who were randomized to complete a short therapy treatment session wearing Walkasins turned either on or off followed by a rest period, and a second therapy session with the on-off conditions crossed over between the groups, explains a media release from RxFunction Inc, manufacturer of Walkasins.
“Using Walkasins more than doubled the proportion of patients who showed meaningful improvement in clinical outcomes related to gait and balance,” says Dr Lars Oddsson, co-inventor of the technology and president of RxFunction, in the release.
“This study confirms the short-term immediate effects of Walkasins use on functional balance and gait speed, and it helps us better identify the patients who most benefit from using Walkasins, which is important to understand when Walkasins become available for prescription,” Oddsson adds.
Dan Leach, CEO of RxFunction, shares in the release that the company looks forward to working with the Minneapolis VA as it works to bring Walkasins to market.
“These results are in line with our long-term observations of a patient at Wingate University who has used Walkasins on a permanent basis for more than five months now, with dramatic improvement in both gait and balance function,” he continues.
Development of Walkasins was supported by an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health.
[Source(s): RXFunction Inc, PR.com]