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Muscle Rehabilitation at Home

By MARILYN SOLTIS
Technology is helping people with partially paralyzed arms due to brain injury, stroke, MS, or ALS to practice muscle rehabilitation at home. The 2012 Consumer Electronics show featured a neuro-robotic arm brace with surface sensors for people with partially paralyzed arms. The mPower 1000, developed at MIT and in collaboration with researchers at Harvard Medical School, is cleared by the FDA and costs about $7,500 from Myomo Inc.

The arm brace detects faint muscle signals and then the robotics engage to assist in completing the movement. It can be used as an aid to the patient or as a rehab device that re-teaches arm movement to the brain.
  
The cool aspect to the Myomo product is that it is wireless with built-in Bluetooth capability so the patient can play virtual reality games designed for physical exercise and there are applications that run on a cellphone or tablet PC that can track and measure incremental progress.

Published: February 12, 2012
Issue: February 2012 Issue