How Wearables Are Helping Patients in Rehab

Wearables helping rehab
Connextyle is a stroke rehabilitation garment designed for measuring muscle activity. (Image credit: Jessica Smarsch)

In the healthcare sector, wearable technology includes smart patches, continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and more. Another aspect of healthcare that’s being impacted by wearable technology is rehabilitation. Wearable tech is now being harnessed to improve patient rehabilitation, especially those who need to undergo intense physical rehabilitation after a procedure, reports TouchPoint.

Designer Jessica Smarsch introduced a stroke rehabilitation garment designed for measuring muscle activity. Dubbed, Connextyle, the smart garment is inspired by an ancient Japanese technique called Kintsugi. It uses a new technology called TexPCBs, which is a silver-coated textile laminated between thermoplastic material, in order to create dry electrodes and measure muscle movement. The data collected by the TexPCBs is then sent to a processing module attached to the garments’ exterior. The module registers movement. The rehabilitation garment works in conjunction with an app that allows patients to track and monitor their rehabilitation process.

Read more KYOCERA and TMDU Join Forces To Develop Wearable for Remote Rehab Monitoring During COVID-19 Pandemic

100 million people worldwide suffer from gait disorders. A Paris-based medical device company FeetMe decided to do something about it. They developed an innovative technology that combines a device with a series of pressure sensors, motion sensors, and learning algorithms to collect movement data. The data collected includes gait and posture data. Then it sends this information in real-time to a paired mobile application called FeetMe Evaluation. Besides analyzing gait and posture parameters, FeetMe also offers rehabilitation programs through its platform FeetMe Rehabilitation.

A caregiver helping a woman to walk
ReStore by Rewalk Robotics is an FDA-cleared soft exosuit that is intended for use in the treatment of stroke survivors with mobility challenges. Image: Rewalk Robotics (PR News)

Stroke is a leading cause of disability, which affects approximately 17 million people worldwide each year. ReWalk Robotics manufactures robotic medical devices for people with lower limb disabilities. The company’s product ReStore consists of a soft garment-like design, which connects to a lightweight waist pack and mechanical cables that help lift the patient’s affected leg in synchronized timing with their natural walking pattern. ReStore provides targeted assistance to the patient during forward propulsion (plantarflexion) and ground clearance (dorsiflexion), two key phases of the gait cycle. The device also provides the physical therapists with extensive data during gait training with ReStore to inform strategies to optimize a patient’s treatment and progress using real-time analytics.

Read more Northwestern Researchers Develop Groundbreaking Wearable that Could Be a Game Changer in Stroke Rehab

A Singapore-based company called SynPhNe developed the world’s first connected wearable solution that trains brain and muscle as one. This innovative technology helps people with physical disabilities resulting from neurological pathologies like stroke and traumatic brain injury, learning disorders, aging problems, chronic stress, and chronic pain. The SynPhNe device is very simple. It consists of 2 Gears—The HEAD GEAR which transmits EEG signals from the Brain, and the ARM GEAR which transmits EMG signals from the Muscle, thus making the brain and muscle work as one system.

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Cathy Russey () is Online Editor at WT | Wearable Technologies and specialized in writing about the latest medical wearables and enabling technologies on the market. Cathy can be contacted at info(at)wearable-technologies.com.