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Neuro rehab technology

AI-driven Izar targets upper limb recovery

Latest product in growing portfolio of digital neurotherapeutics pioneer MindMaze

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Neurotherapeutics pioneer MindMaze has launched the latest product in its suite of AI-driven digital devices, which targets upper limb neural recovery. 

The Izar has been created for patients with impairment in hand motor function and initially comes with content that enables training of dexterous grasp, pinch and grip. 

Future software content will unlock training for the wrist, bilateral movements, combination movements of the upper-limb and hand, as well as dexterity assessments for hand and wrist.

Izar adds further to MindMaze’s growing portfolio of digital care and digital medicine solutions and has been launched in the United States and the EU. 

The product is aimed at people surviving or living with a host of conditions, including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury (TBI). 

It also adds further to options in gamified rehabilitation, which are increasing significantly in the field of neuro-rehab. 

Impaired hand function is one of the most common disabilities after stroke, with paralysis of the hand and upper limb occurring in up to 87 per cent of all stroke survivors.

“It is very exciting to have a device for the hand that has the versatility of Izar. It can serve as a controller during reach-to-grasp movements, as a trainer of grip force gradation, and as an assessor of dexterity,” said Professor John Krakauer, MindMaze’s chief medical director. 

“The device is also highly portable, so it can be used across the continuum of care, which is important as the upper limb, and the hand in particular, gets relatively neglected in neuro-rehabilitation.”

The product assesses both dexterity and strength through capturing fine grasp forces and wrist movements involved in activities of daily living. 

Its gaming content allows Izar to be used in clinical surroundings, or enables patients to self-train in their own homes, adding further to options around remote rehabilitation. 

Leading global centres including the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in the US, University College London, and The University of Aukland in New Zealand are already using Izar in pioneering clinical research. 

Izar was subjected to rigorous pre-launch testing across nine sites and delivered over 250 hours of active supervised and self-training therapy time in 250 patients, receiving unanimously positive feedback.

Julia Knape, a therapist involved in the trials, said: “Our clients were actually surprised to see that they still had hand-finger functions. Through the visual feedback of even the smallest functions, they were more motivated for the therapy.”

Izar is available in the US as well as European countries including France, Switzerland and Germany.

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