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Neuro rehab technology

AI trousers are helping stroke patients to walk again

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Trousers powered by artificial intelligence have given a stroke survivor the power to learn to walk independently again.

Stroke patient, Julie Lloyd, is part of the UK’s first trial of the NeuroSkin trousers, which she has described as a breakthrough for stroke patients alike.

By stimulating her paralysed leg through electrodes controlled by artificial intelligence, NeuroSkin is helping Julie to be able to walk again.

The Stroke Association is all for the development of new stroke tech, stating it gives hope to the UK’s 1.3 million stroke survivors.

NeuroSkin’s developers claim that the device is already revolutionising stroke care in France, and now its could do the same for stroke care in the UK.

Julie, says: “My leg is almost feeling as if it’s being guided.

“My leg was suddenly propelled up from the floor and made me feel safe walking, and that’s the part that I’ve honestly not felt at all with all the physio I’ve had.

“I’ve never felt since my stroke as elated as I feel this moment.”

Julie had her stroke earlier this year and was left with partial paralysis in her left arm and leg, and now relies on a cane to be able to walk.
Check out this video piece on NeuroSkin from the BBC.

On her life pre-stroke, Julie says: “Life before was very energetic, very active, it has taken away a lifestyle I had and that’s been terribly tragic.”
Julie’s physiotherapist recommended her to enter the trial as she was hitting around 3,000 steps a day using a cane.
Whilst EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) has been widely used in stroke care, Rudi Gombauld, CEO of Kurage, says that the use of EMS is a blunt approach.
NeuroSkin includes wired trousers and shoes which contain electrodes above the six main muscle groups in each leg.
Gombauld, says: “The smart garment is like a second skin which means that you have sensors that can feel how the brain works and have all the sensory information to send to an artificial intelligence system.”
The artificial intelligence that is connected to the electrodes is contained within a vest.
With every step by its user, this artificial intelligence gathers information about the impulses being sent by the brain to the healthy leg, and then sends a mirror impulse to the patient’s weakened leg to recreate their natural side.
Whilst NeuroSkin is not for everyday or at home use, it is helping patients to complete the number of repetitions necessary to help regain their walking ability.
NeuroSkin has a current cost of £5,000 a month to lease, with friends of SR Times, Morello Clinic in Newport set to offer the treatment for the first time in October, starting with three stroke survivors including Julie.
Clare Jonas, of the Stroke Association, says: “It feels like there’s probably going to be a big shift in how we treat stroke and how we offer rehab for stroke in the next five to 10 years.”

 

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