Moterum Technologies https://moterum.com Patented devices that can help stroke survivors learn how to walk again. Fri, 06 Dec 2019 14:22:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 The Digital Health Revolution https://moterum.com/digital-health-revolution/ Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:14:35 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=1824 The post The Digital Health Revolution appeared first on Moterum Technologies.

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There is a revolution happening within medicine, the revolution of “Digital Health.” The term Digital Health was coined by 2000 by Seth Frank(1). According to Nature Digital Health, it included , “internet-focused applications and media to improve medical content, commerce, and connectivity.”(2) Today, however, Digital Health has grown into multi-pronged, multi technology industry as shown in a report by the Digital Therapeutics Alliance(3).

Figure from Digital Therapeutics Alliance Report (4)

 

From this helpful diagram, you can see that Digital Health includes Telehealth, Personalized Health Care, Wearables and Sensors, Digital Therapeutics, Health Information Technology and Mobile Health (mHealth). Over this coming month, we are going to focus our blog and Newsletter on Digital Health issues. Moterum’s technology and products are focused on the full spectrum of Digital Health, with components that involve telehealth, artificial intelligence, sensors and analytics, mHealth, digital therapeutics, as well as personalized healthcare as discussed in the above from the Digital Therapeutics Alliance. In the coming weeks, we will provide information about a variety of Digital Health issues from FDA regulation to reimbursement, and the future of healthcare that will be dominated by these types of products and therapies. If you would like more information about Moterum’s efforts in helping stroke survivors after stroke continue and improve their stroke recovery, please reach out to us here.

 

1) Frank, S. R. Digital health care—the convergence of health care and the Internet. J. Ambul. care Manag. 23, 8–17 (2000).
2) Mathews, S.C., McShea, M.J., Hanley, C.L. et al. Digital health: a path to validation. npj Digit. Med. 2, 38 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41746-019-0111-3
3) https://www.dtxalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/DTA-Report_DTx-Industry-Foundations.pdf
4) Page 4 of https://www.dtxalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/DTA-Report_DTx-Industry-Foundations.pdf

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What I’m Thankful For … https://moterum.com/im-thankful-for/ Tue, 26 Nov 2019 13:30:07 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=1608 The post What I’m Thankful For … appeared first on Moterum Technologies.

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What I’m Thankful For …

Last week, I forwarded our Moterum newsletter to my mother. Being the supportive mother and grandmother that she is, she likes to stay updated on both my personal and professional lives. After reading it, she replied “It must feel good to work for a company that makes such a difference in people’s lives.” This really resonated with me…

Those of you who know me are aware that I’m a physical therapist. For those who don’t, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself – After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tar Heels!), I earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Emory University. After graduation, like most new grads, I set out to change the world. I worked for 10+ years in traditional healthcare settings (mainly large medical centers) and I LOVED my jobs. Truly, what career could be better – I worked with inspiring and passionate medical professionals and I spent my days doing my part to improve the lives of the patients I was lucky enough to treat. 

 

Then, in 2018, something unexpected happened for me. I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren Rashford (hey, Lauren!) and learned about a company I had never heard of, Moterum Technologies, Inc. Moterum was a new company with big, big goals – to improve the lives of individuals who suffered from a stroke or other neurological injuries. Those who know me know that I’m not a big risk taker. I follow the rules, drive the speed limit, and typically prefer to remain in my comfort zone. But after meeting David Huizenga (CEO of Moterum Technologies) I knew something was different about this company. They put their mission first and their actions reflected it. Despite loving the work that I was doing, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.  

 

Fast-forward to now. I am grateful to have been with Moterum Technologies for a year and a half. In this time, I have had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to work closely with the participants in our clinical trial for the Moterum iStride Device™. During this time, I met Sue and Louise (who were recently featured in our Success Story, https://moterum.com/story-sue-and-louise/). I met Anthony (featured on the clinical trial page of our website, https://moterum.com/clinical-trials/). I met any others, whom you will soon learn about as we continue our spotlight articles. I have met young stroke survivors and some that are older, some whose stoke was relatively recent, and others whose stroke was more than two decades ago. I have met individuals who struggle with basic mobility and self-care and others whose stroke impairments are more difficult to notice. I have met their caregivers, spouses, children, and friends.

 

And while their differences on the outside might seem significant, I have noticed they all share a common thread – hope, determination, and  perseverance. Regardless of the challenges they experience from their stroke, they remain committed to stroke recovery. They are willing to put in the work and they don’t give up. They are a brave and inspiring group of individuals. During our clinical trial, I had the great pleasure of being present as these individuals learned to walk better, to walk faster, and to improve their balance.  As they improved their gait speed (reminder – walking speed is REALLY important and even known as the sixth vital sign!), I also witnessed improved confidence and renewed hope.

 

As a physical therapist, I get the pleasure of spending my days trying to help people. However, this Thanksgiving, I am very much reminded of how much I have been helped and taught through this career as well. I have been reminded of the strength of the human spirit, that hard work and dedication can lead to better outcomes, that we can be stronger as a community than we can as individuals, and that my mother is right (as she typically is ☺). It does feel good to work for a company that makes a difference. For this, and many more reasons, I am especially grateful this Thanksgiving. 

 

I hope wherever you are this Thanksgiving, that you, too, have reasons to be thankful and know that your involvement in this community is appreciated. I wish you all many blessings as we begin this holiday season and prepare for the New Year!

 

Sincerely,

Brie Darcy, PT, DPT

 

I’m thankful for …

The caregivers, family members, friends, and other supporters who help us individually and as a community to fight stroke. We are grateful for YOU this Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for …

Our Moterum community – Stroke fighters, caregivers, and members of this medical community. We can achieve more as a team than we can as individuals! Thank you for your support!

I’m thankful for …

The brave and determined stroke fighters – You inspire us daily. We thank each one of you for fighting stroke with us!!

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CEO’s Corner – November 2019 https://moterum.com/ceos-corner-november-2019/ Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:11:23 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=1561 The post CEO’s Corner – November 2019 appeared first on Moterum Technologies.

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Hello, from David. This is the first edition of a new feature in our monthly Newsletter. We are calling it the CEO’s Corner. My hope for this section is that it will provide at least one place, each month, where I can update you on what is happening inside of Moterum, and importantly how Moterum’s activities fit and relate within chronic care, home care, and neural health, the segments of the health industry that Moterum, and our users, families, and clinical caregivers find themselves. There are so many changes happening within the regulation of medical devices and therapies, reimbursement for all types of healthcare, and within the delivery of the healthcare itself, this monthly update will function as an introduction on these bigger issues, and how Moterum is working to adapt and continue to serve within the changing environments.

To kick this off, this month, I am announcing that Moterum’s first attempt at changing the trajectory of chronic care, home care, and neural health is finally ready for commercial launch. We are ready for PRE-ORDERING for our Moterum iStride SolutionTM. This product was created to allow for better chronic care management in the home setting and improvement of overall rehabilitation of neural health fighters. We are thrilled to have arrived at this juncture in our history. It has been quite a journey, but we have arrived at this first destination. I thought I would provide a bit of insight into the process for researching and developing a fully integrated medical solution set to change healthcare delivery.

The Moterum iStride SolutionTM includes three different technology components that were actually born in different places. The first, the “device” component goes on the bottom of the foot of the unaffected leg of the user, and is responsible for changing the walking pattern while using it such that a new walking pattern is learned. The device started out in the laboratory of the Kyle Reed, Ph.D. at the University of South Florida. You can see a video from a news program of Dr. Reed discussing the device here. Dr. Reed started doing the initial work for his invention circa 2010 and in 2015, this technology was licensed into a company called Tao Life Sciences, who developed the first clinical prototypes and sponsored and ran the first pilot clinical trial on actual stroke survivors. This pilot study showed that the device helped improve user’s walking speed, their walking mechanics, and their overall walking ability. The technology was then transferred to Moterum Technologies in 2017 for development in a commercial product. Moterum redesigned the device for commercial use and performed an extended clinical trial in the home setting, which confirmed the results of the pilot study and showed that the device was able to improve users walking speed and balance across four different clinical metrics in a way that is unprecedented in rehabilitation devices.

We are proud that this work won national and international acclaim, placing in the top 10 at the International Rehab Week conference out of more than 450 entrants, and winning the 2019 ISIG Stroke award from ACRM.

 

Read more about this here…

Next generation monitoring and gait analysis technology forms the second component of the Moterum iStride SolutionTM. Moterum acquired motion detection and analysis technology from Stacy Bamberg, Ph.D. The analytics went through years of development and testing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Utah, and Veristride to produce analysis algorithms specifically tuned for the unique walking patterns of stroke, Parkinson’s and other neural disorders. This technology also won awards at the prestigious Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2017. The ability to analyze the user’s progress is important not only for the user and family members to see that they are getting better, but it is also important for being able to get reimbursement status for the use of the Moterum iStride SolutionTM.

The third component knits the device, the user, the analytics, and the clinicians, together through the Moterum Digital Therapeutic PlatformTM. Moterum Technologies acquired the predecessor of the Moterum Digital Therapeutic PlatformTM through 9zest Inc., a company that was founded by a fellow Neural Survivor, Manoj Agarwala. Mr. Agarwala was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s about six years ago. He is a very successful entrepreneur in the software development space, and when he was unable to achieve his rehabilitation goals during the first couple of years after diagnosis, he decided to use his software development skills and develop an Artificial Intelligence engine and complete rehabilitation treatment platform for neural patients, such as stroke and Parkinson’s fighters. He then used his own platform to better his own UPDRS scores from 35 to 18. 

This platform was shown to help in clinical studies for both Stroke and Parkinson’s. This platform, in addition to monitoring and managing the use of the Moterum iStride DeviceTM, provides additional physical rehabilitation, occupational rehabilitation, and speech rehabilitation programs and solutions for home use.

We are thrilled and honored to finally be at the point where we can begin the next phase of our journey: facilitating and helping neural fighters, such as those who had a stroke, and their families improve their independence, happiness, and health through moving and walking better, through treatment and facilitation in their own homes. We have had success in helping stroke fighters as long as 25 years post stroke walk faster and better in as little as four weeks of using the Moterum iStride DeviceTM. If you or a loved one would like to get more information about joining us on this next phase of our journey, please reach out to us. We want to help.

In closing this first CEO’s Corner, I want to thank all those who have trusted us and partnered with us helping us get to this point: our partners including, South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) the University of South Florida, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, our investors in Moterum Technologies, the advisors and board members who have spent so much time and effort, and most importantly all of the users and their caregivers who have been the first adopters of all of the components through all of our clinical trials over the years. Without all of you we would not have arrived at this destination.

Thank you!

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Moterum iStride Device™ Caregiver Spotlight and Success Stories – Sue and Louise Rakoczy! https://moterum.com/story-sue-and-louise/ Sat, 16 Nov 2019 16:01:26 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=1529 The post Moterum iStride Device™ Caregiver Spotlight and Success Stories – Sue and Louise Rakoczy! appeared first on Moterum Technologies.

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Did you know that November is National Family Caregivers Month?

This month especially, but every month, we try to express gratitude and encouragement to the special, selfless individuals who provide support and care to those that need it. Navigating life after stroke provides numerous challenges and we are very appreciative of the exceptional individuals who help make the journey a little bit easier.

This month our Success Stories highlights a stroke fighter/caregiver pair who were part of one of our clinical trials with the Moterum iStride Device™. This special mother/daughter duo is Sue and Louise!

Sue was at work when she experienced her stroke. At the young age of 43, this medical event felt unexpected and life-changing. Sue describes the immediate events after her stroke as very challenging – “I couldn’t walk or even sit up on my own. I was in the hospital for a month with three therapies per day.” After leaving the hospital, Sue was unable to live on her own and subsequently moved in with family to assist in her care. Despite persistent weakness in her left arm and leg, Sue reports that “after I got home, my insurance visits for therapy got used up pretty quickly and I had nothing.”

Sue learned of the Moterum iStride Device™ clinical trial through an advertisement on Facebook. When we met Sue in July of 2018, she was approximately 6 years post-stroke. Sue walked with an AFO (ankle foot orthosis) to help clear her left leg while walking. She also lived with her mom, Louise.

During her treatment with the Moterum iStride Device™, there were two constants – Sue’s motivation to work her hardest during each treatment session and the positivity and support of her mother, Louise. During each session, Louise was present with an encouraging word, an expression of gratitude, and occasionally a Klondike bar☺

Louise exemplifies the support that is so beneficial after a major life-changing event, such as a stoke. In addition to encouraging Sue in her recovery, Louise takes an active role in the stroke community at large with involvement in local stroke support groups, participating in community events (such as the recent Heart Walk hosted by the American Heart and American Stroke Associations), and even providing valuable feedback to the Moterum team during Sue’s clinical trial.

With Louise by her side, Sue excelled using the Moterum iStride Device™. At the end of her participation in our clinical trial, she had the following comments regarding her treatment:

“I started noticing changes within a month. I noticed I didn’t swing my affected leg as much. When I stepped, I didn’t try to catch up with it, it became more normal. [The device] made me more aware of my gait mechanics. I paid attention to what I was doing more. My balance was also a lot better when I took the device off. And I noticed I could walk longer periods of time without sitting down.”

Sue’s comments likely reflect the substantial improvements achieved in her walking speed and balance. Testing of Sue’s mobility revealed a gait speed improvement of 90% and higher functional balance scores on all assessed metrics from before to one-week after completing her 12th treatment session with the Moterum iStride Device™. Way to go, Sue!!

When asked if she would recommend the iStride™ device to others in similar situations, Sue replied “I would definitely recommend [the device] to others. It would be good for anyone who still needs PT. I would tell them to appreciate it, and do it, because it does work.” Louise, who also expressed noticing the significant improvement in Sue’s mobility, offered the following sentiment, “I’m just happy this has come about because it’s really helped her.”

This month, as we honor stroke fighters and the people that lift them up during difficult times, we are especially grateful for the opportunity to work with wonderful individuals – like Sue and Louise.

Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey!

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Moterum Chosen As Winner of the 2019 ACRM Stroke ISIG Outstanding Scientific Poster Award https://moterum.com/moterum-chosen-as-winner-of-the-2019-acrm-stroke-isig-outstanding-scientific-poster-award/ Mon, 11 Nov 2019 21:44:47 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=1470 The post Moterum Chosen As Winner of the 2019 ACRM Stroke ISIG Outstanding Scientific Poster Award appeared first on Moterum Technologies.

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Last week the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) chose Moterum’s poster “Active Limb Orthosis for Home Use – Stroke Gait Rehabilitation,” as the winner of the 2019 Stroke ISIG Outstanding Scientific Poster Award (poster # 1025728). The poster was presented by Lauren Rashford, Director of Clinical Operations and Brie Darcy Clinical Research Manager. This poster displayed the results of the clinical trial run on the Moterum iStride DeviceTM in the home setting. There were a number of results presented from this research, but from a patient perspective, most importantly, more than 95% of the users improved in their walking speed AND more than 95% improved on at least one fall risk measure beyond a “minimal detectable change.” A minimal detectable change is the amount of improvement that clinicians and researchers consider to be meaningful and not due to chance or measurement error. This means that nearly all of the users of the Moterum iStride DeviceTM improved in gait speed and fall risk in a meaningful way. These were not just “scientific” improvements but they were real meaningful improvements to users. Check out a video of one of the participants here.

However, maybe the most striking aspect of this study was the fact that it was completed with chronic stroke survivors (more than six months post-stroke). The average time post-stroke for our participants was more than 61 months (5 years), with one participant more than 25 years post-stroke! At Moterum we are thrilled that this study provides evidence against the conventional wisdom that most to all improvement in movement for stroke survivors occurs within the first six or so months post-stroke. I have learned through talking with chronic stroke survivors and their loved ones how this conventional wisdom crushes their hope when coming home from the hospital and even years past their stroke. Our participant who was 25 years post-stroke improved her gait speed by 63%, and went from being a “limited community ambulator” to a “full community ambulator” (designations that indicate her walking speed became more “normalized” and consistent with the ability to fully participate in community activities). She also improved her fall risk across all metrics. All this even 25 years post-stroke! We are proud of her for still trying to get better after all those years, and we are honored that we could be a part of her journey.

At Moterum we strive to bring hope to all stroke survivors and their families, hope that you can continue to get better. We do and will work to support you in these efforts. We have recently begun taking pre-sale orders on the Moterum iStride DeviceTM , the product born from these and other clinical efforts. If you would like more information, please contact us here.

Sincerely, David E. Huizenga
CEO Moterum Technologies, Inc.

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National Family Caregivers Month https://moterum.com/national-family-caregivers-month/ Wed, 06 Nov 2019 15:00:38 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=1384 The post National Family Caregivers Month appeared first on Moterum Technologies.

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On October 31, 2019, the President proclaimed November 2019 as “National Family Caregivers Month.”  (https://caregiveraction.org/presidential-proclamation-2019).  Families experiencing the challenges of neural disorders or trauma know the challenges on the primary caregivers.  From support within the home, to support in transport for clinical activities, to communicating with clinicians, the caregiver’s role and responsibilities are all encompassing.

Over the years, as CEO of Moterum Technologies, I have had the honor of speaking with many stroke fighters, as well as their caregivers. I hold close to my heart, the honest discussions of the struggles, difficulties, and feelings these families have shared with me. These discussions not only help me remember daily why the Moterum Team does what it does, but they also inform the design and development of our products.  As we close the first week of Caregiver’s Month and focus our intentions on how to support caregiver’s over the rest of the month, let us all uplift the caregiver’s in our lives and thank them. I close with the statement from the proclamation that I have written out and placed on my computer:

“The responsibility of serving and supporting another person can be challenging, and the strength and compassion exhibited by caregivers is one of the greatest manifestations of genuine love we witness in this world.”

May we all strive to manifest a “caregiver” love to all those that need it.

Sincerely,

David Huizenga

CEO

Moterum Technologies, Inc.

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Moterum Researchers Presenting at 2019 ACRM!! https://moterum.com/moterum-researchers-presenting-at-2019-acrm/ Mon, 04 Nov 2019 13:01:45 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=1280 The post Moterum Researchers Presenting at 2019 ACRM!! appeared first on Moterum Technologies.

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Moterum is proud that its Director of Clinical Operations, Lauren Rashford, DPT, and Clinical Research Manager, Brie Darcy, DPT, will each be presenting ground-breaking research posters at this year’s (November 5, 2019 – November 8, 2019) annual American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) –  https://acrm.org/meetings/2019-annual-conference/

These posters highlight results from our most recent clinical trial on the therapeutic device component of the Moterum iStride SolutionTM.  The study was performed in the homes of chronic stroke survivors, and showed that chronic survivors, as far as 25 years post stroke significantly improved both walking speed and fall’s risks.  Stay tuned to updates from Lauren and Brie from this week’s 2019 ACRM Conference.

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Walking Speed – Is It REALLY That Important? https://moterum.com/walking-speed-sixth-vital-sign/ Tue, 23 Jul 2019 18:41:02 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=351 Spoiler Alert: We Think So! By: Brie Darcy, PT, DPT There has been a lot of buzz in the medical community recently about walking speed. It’s even earned itself a nickname as “the 6th vital sign,” including claims that it may provide as much medical value as more traditional vital signs like blood pressure and […]

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Spoiler Alert: We Think So!

By: Brie Darcy, PT, DPT

There has been a lot of buzz in the medical community recently about walking speed. It’s even earned itself a nickname as “the 6th vital sign,” including claims that it may provide as much medical value as more traditional vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate.1 But is it really as important as they say? Research suggests a resounding YES!

So, why is walking speed such a hot topic? Walking ability—with speed as a significant, measurable factor—often declines as we age. In fact, studies show this decline may accelerate around age 62.2 While a very common phenomenon, a 2014 article entitled “Walking Speed: The Functional Vital Sign” found that a slowed walking speed is correlated to and may even be predictive of many health factors. These health factors include general health status, level of disability, falls, hospitalization risk, quality of life, and even mortality.3 

Conversely, studies show that an improved gait speed can result in positive health outcomes. In a large pooled analysis of nine studies, data from nearly 35,000 community-dwelling older adults showed survival increased significantly in increments of 0.10 m/s.4 Additionally, a study of elderly male veterans showed that every 0.10 m/s increase in walking speed resulted in improved health status, improved physical function, fewer basic disabilities, fewer hospitalization days, and one-year cost reductions of $1188.5 

Why One Easy Measurement Means So Much

Typically developed in infancy, the act of walking is a very complex skill resulting from a coordinated effort of several systems including our neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and cardiopulmonary systems. Walking starts in the brain with a signal that travels to the spinal cord. Nerve cells in the spinal cord activate muscles throughout our body that achieve postural control and the advancement of our limbs.6 Additional systems work together to ensure your steps are the appropriate length and direction, and to achieve a pace that will get you to your desired destination. Don’t forget that strength, balance, proprioception, vision, and aerobic capacity play a role as well!6 

Amazingly, when all of these systems work together in a synchronized fashion, we create the coordinated pattern known as walking. The decline in walking ability and speed as we age, while at times due to a large event such as a stroke or orthopedic injury, more often results from small declines in the functioning of any of these systems.7 

Valuable information about this multi-faceted process can be obtained quickly and easily by measuring walking speed. Unlike many medical assessments, measuring gait speed is quick (taking less than 5 minutes), reliable, easily performed in a variety of settings, and useful in monitoring progress over time. As a result, it has become a highly recommended clinical tool used to identify those at risk for adverse outcomes or in need of intervention.

Okay, You’ve Got My Attention! But How Do I Improve My Walking Speed?

If you are reading this, chances are you (or someone you know) may have been affected by a stroke or other neurological injury. An unfortunate but common consequence of neurological injuries is impaired walking ability and speed. If this sounds familiar, don’t lose hope! Medical research has shown several effective methods can be used to improve walking speed.

1. Impairment-Based Interventions. This method involves breaking down and treating the individual and unique components of gait that may be causing your impairment.7 For example, some individuals may walk with a slower gait speed due to weakness of the leg muscles, limited endurance, or impaired balance. Treating these impairments individually may help to improve your overall walking ability and speed. A research study looking at the most commonly used training techniques found that progressive resistance training at high intensities was the most effective exercise to improve gait speed.8 Similarly, a group of individuals who performed resistance training exercises three times per week for 12 weeks significantly improved their gait speed over a group performing just flexibility exercises.9 

2. Task-Oriented Practice. This refers to practicing the actual task you are trying to improve. If a basketball player wants to improve his or her jump shot … they practice their jump shot. The same logic can apply to walking. If you want to improve your walking, your treatments should involve walking!7 This might include walking drills such as practicing changing speed, changing directions, or stepping over objects. Studies show that this approach may even be superior for improving gait speed, as compared to focusing on the individual gait components.10

  • Music lovers, take note! Studies that included a rhythmic component (such as walking or even dancing while keeping time to music or a rhythm) have shown very promising results for improving gait speed due to the notion that this task performance may train higher brain functions.8

Here at Moterum Technologies…

Our innovative iStride™ Gait System, used to treat hemiparetic gait impairments arising from neurologic injuries, is equipped with sensors that can quickly, easily, and accurately track your gait speed (among other important markers of gait) every time you use it. In our recent clinical trial, participants improved their gait speed by an average of 16.14 meters per minute in just 12 visits!

Curious To Know Your Walking Speed?

It’s easy to measure! First, measure a distance. You can use just about anything, from marks on the ground to chairs in your living room! The most important aspect is to know the distance you’re covering (6 or 10 meters are commonly used). Now grab a stopwatch (most smartphones and tablets have a free timer app), and walk at your comfortable pace. For even more accuracy, start walking several steps before your first mark and give yourself a few steps after the measured distance to stop, so you are walking at your normal walking speed across the entire distance. Just remember to start the timer when you pass the first mark and stop it when you pass the second.

Divide the number of meters you walked by the number of seconds it took, and that’s your walking speed in meters per second! If you are concerned about your walking speed, make an appointment with your doctor or physical therapist. And don’t forget: If you feel your walking difficulties are related to a stroke or other neurologic injury, we are here to help!

References

1. Fritz S, Lusardi M. White paper: “Walking speed: the sixth vital sign”. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2009;32(2):46-49.

2. Himann JE, Cunningham DA, Rechnitzer PA, Paterson DH. Age-related changes in speed of walking. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1988;20(2):161-166.

3. Middleton A, Fritz SL, Lusardi M. Walking speed: the functional vital sign. J Aging Phys Act. 2015;23(2):314-322.

4. Studenski S, Perera S, Patel K, et al. Gait speed and survival in older adults. JAMA. 2011;305(1):50-58.

5. Purser JL, Weinberger M, Cohen HJ, et al. Walking speed predicts health status and hospital costs for frail elderly male veterans. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2005;42(4):535-546.

6. Takakusaki K. Functional Neuroanatomy for Posture and Gait Control. J Mov Disord. 2017;10(1):1-17.

7. Brach JS, Vanswearingen JM. Interventions to Improve Walking in Older Adults. Curr Transl Geriatr Exp Gerontol Rep. 2013;2(4).

8. Van Abbema R, De Greef M, Craje C, Krijnen W, Hobbelen H, Van Der Schans C. What type, or combination of exercise can improve preferred gait speed in older adults? A meta-analysis. BMC Geriatr. 2015;15:72.

9. Judge JO, Underwood M, Gennosa T. Exercise to improve gait velocity in older persons. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1993;74(4):400-406.

10. VanSwearingen JM, Perera S, Brach JS, Wert D, Studenski SA. Impact of exercise to improve gait efficiency on activity and participation in older adults with mobility limitations: a randomized controlled trial. Phys Ther. 2011;91(12):1740-1751.

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Caregivers – We’re Here For You, Too. 5 Tips for New Caregivers! https://moterum.com/caregivers-were-here-for-you-too-5-tips-for-new-caregivers/ Tue, 16 Jul 2019 22:18:10 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=348 By: Brie Darcy, PT, DPT When a loved one experiences a stroke, family, friends, and other loved ones may unexpectedly find themselves in a new role: caregiver. Unlike chronic or other progressive illnesses, a stroke often provides little or no warning. Additionally, with a 44% increase in the number of young Americans hospitalized due to stroke […]

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By: Brie Darcy, PT, DPT

When a loved one experiences a stroke, family, friends, and other loved ones may unexpectedly find themselves in a new role: caregiver. Unlike chronic or other progressive illnesses, a stroke often provides little or no warning. Additionally, with a 44% increase in the number of young Americans hospitalized due to stroke over the last decade, a stroke can occur at a much younger age than may be on your medical radar.1 As a result of these circumstances, the majority of stroke survivors and new caregivers feel unprepared or overwhelmed when this rapid (and often life-altering) change occurs.

While the responsibility of caregiving can be a large one, the right resources, knowledge, and support can make this unexpected situation manageable (and even rewarding). We’ve put together some of our best tips and advice for new caregivers.

5 Tips For New Caregivers

1. Do Your Research.

Knowledge is power. Unless you work in the medical field or have personal experience with stroke, the diagnosis may seem foreign and scary. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn about your loved one’s condition and expected prognosis. Talk to doctors, nurses, and therapists. Ask questions. Join stroke support groups where you can meet individuals in similar situations and share advice, resources, and tips. If you are unable to attend support groups in person, many groups are available online through sites such as Facebook. Additionally, organizations such as The National Stroke Association and the American Stroke Association provide a wealth of information on their websites including medical information, caregiver guides, and links to support groups and other resources. There are also a number of books written by stroke survivors and their caregivers that may provide unique and helpful perspectives.

2. Rehabilitation Is Key.

Rehabilitation professionals (including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists) provide a wealth of knowledge on stroke recovery. If your loved one has continued impairments resulting from their stoke (such as weakness, mobility impairments, balance issues, falls, decreased independence, or speech impairments), rehabilitation professionals can help. Depending of the extent of the impairments, therapy can be provided in the inpatient, outpatient, or even home settings. Your insurance representative can inform you of your coverage and any expected costs for these services.

3. Maximize Your Resources.

While the majority of caregiving services are hired and paid privately, certain insurance providers (including Medicaid, Veterans programs, and Medicare Advantage) may offer provisions for additional caregiving services in certain circumstances. Additionally, many states have unique programs that provide support, such as financial compensation to family caregivers, paid work leave, transportation, meal delivery, or minor home revisions. These programs are targeted at helping individuals remain in their homes as they age or after illness. The website www.eldercare.gov can help you locate resources in your community. Please note that eligibility requirements (such as age or income) may apply and differ across states.

4. Practice Prevention.

Having a stroke puts survivors at risk for a second stroke. Take steps to minimize that risk by encouraging a healthy lifestyle, taking medications as prescribed, and keeping doctor and therapy appointments. Remember the warning signs of stroke by memorizing the acronym F.A.S.T.

  • Face drooping. Smile and see if one side of the face droops. 
  • Arm weakness. Raise both arms. Does one arm drop down?
  • Speech difficulty. Say a short phrase and check for slurred or strange speech.
  • Time. If the person shows any of the symptoms above, call 911 right away and write down the time the symptoms started.

It is also important to be aware that the risk of depression is elevated in stroke survivors with reported rates of approximately 30%. Individuals with prior depression or a severe stroke are especially at risk.2 Post-stroke depression can be described as a feeling of hopelessness that interferes with function and quality of life. Additionally, it can interfere with stroke recovery. There are a variety of treatments available for post-stroke depression. Consult your physician as soon as possible if you feel your loved one might be experiencing depression.

5. Caregivers Need Care Too!

You’ve heard the flight attendant say it: “In case of emergency, please apply your oxygen mask first, before helping others.” This important motto of survival carries forward into the caregiving world. We can’t provide our best to others if we don’t take care of ourselves. Several tips that may help include:

  1. Ask For Help. Even in the best of circumstances, caregiving is a challenging role. If someone offers to help, let them! Don’t hesitate to define what you need and ask family, friends, or neighbors for assistance with errands, meals, yard work, cleaning, or other tasks that may alleviate some of your responsibilities.
  2. Don’t Neglect Your Own Health. It’s easy to forget our own medical needs when caring for others. Be sure to follow-up on your own healthcare needs including regular doctor visits and taking medications as prescribed. Staying strong and healthy benefits yourself and your loved one.
  3. Take A Break. Caregiving can be physically and emotionally challenging, and caregivers are subject to burnout and fatigue without regular breaks. It’s important to recharge your batteries! Consider looking into respite care opportunities. Respite care provides short term relief for primary caregivers (costs can vary by insurance and other funding sources). For more information, visit https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-respite-care.
  4. Practice Self Care. Remember, your own needs are important too! We suggest the following:
    • Find time for your own hobbies or other interests at least once a week. (Or more!)
    • Talk or spend time with a supportive friend.
    • Try to get adequate sleep. Rest or nap if needed. 
    • Say “no”  to non-essential tasks that provide additional stress, or delegate them to others.
    • Consider journaling. Journaling can provide an outlet for emotions and stress management.
    • Prioritize exercise. Exercise is important for physical and emotional health, and regular physical exercise can help relieve stress. Even a short walk can provide physical benefits and help clear the mind.
    • Give yourself credit, or a least a pat on the back. Caregiving is not easy and you are doing your best!!

References

1. National Stroke Association. Young Stroke Survivors. https://www.stroke.org/understand-stroke/impact-of-stroke/young-stroke-survivors/. Published 2019. Accessed 2019, June 20.

2. Jorgensen TS, Wium-Andersen IK, Wium-Andersen MK, et al. Incidence of Depression After Stroke, and Associated Risk Factors and Mortality Outcomes, in a Large Cohort of Danish Patients. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(10):1032-1040.

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Breaking Through With Moterum – Stories of Success! https://moterum.com/breaking-through-with-moterum-stories-of-success/ Mon, 01 Jul 2019 23:23:00 +0000 https://moterum.com/?p=347 By: Brie Darcy, PT, DPT You may have read our recent article on the recovery plateau in stroke rehabilitation and tips for breaking through a recovery plateau. Plateaus can look like a slowing or stalling of your stroke recovery. Often occurring several months post-stroke, they can signal it’s time for a modification or a new […]

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By: Brie Darcy, PT, DPT

You may have read our recent article on the recovery plateau in stroke rehabilitation and tips for breaking through a recovery plateau. Plateaus can look like a slowing or stalling of your stroke recovery. Often occurring several months post-stroke, they can signal it’s time for a modification or a new challenge to be added to your rehabilitation program.

In our clinical trials, the iStride™ Gait Solution has helped many individuals break through these plateaus years (and even decades) post-stroke! Take a look below at the inspiring stories of James and Catherine, who have gained new hope after using the iStride™ device.

James

After suffering a stroke in 2016, James experienced significant weakness on one side of his body, leaving him reliant on a cane with a very slow and unstable walking pattern. This limited mobility affected his confidence as well as his ability to engage in previously rewarding hobbies and relationships. Eager to improve his physical condition, James agreed to participate in a clinical trial with the iStrideTM device.  Initial testing, using three validated balance measures aimed at identifying his risk for falls, showed that James was a “high fall risk.” In addition, his slow walking speed limited him as a “home ambulator,” meaning his walking speed was likely too slow for successful participation in community activities.

After only 3 treatment sessions, James was able to use the iStrideTM device unassisted and even noticed his walking speed was becoming faster when he took the device off. After 12 treatment sessions, balance and walking tests were repeated to assess for improvement after using the iStrideTM device. Excitingly, the results revealed James had improved his gait speed by 220%, walking over 3 times as fast as before using the device! Additionally, his scores on our 3 balance tests moved him from high risk for falls to low risk! From James’ perspective, he described improved confidence with his walking and balance as well as improved ease of standing up and turning. He was even able to stop using his cane at home and begin participating in hobbies with his friends again. After completing the iStrideTM device treatment, James reflected that his greatest benefit was feeling increased freedom now that he can finally keep up with friends and family again. ☺ Way to go James!!

Catherine

After suffering a stroke in her early 20’s, Catherine’s life immediately changed. Previously athletic and employed full-time, she became reliant on her spouse for basic needs. Through intensive rehabilitation and determination, Catherine regained the ability to walk, but she continued to have a leg that “dragged” while walking, which limited her confidence about participating in community activities. After several decades of unchanged physical status, Catherine had accepted her condition as permanent, but she always hoped for continued improvement.

Catherine agreed to participate in our clinical trial and was treated with the iStrideTM device for 12 sessions in her home. Initial testing showed that Catherine walked with a gait speed category of only “limited community activities.” She also scored as a high fall risk on 2 of our fall prediction tests. After a one-month treatment period, Catherine was able to improve the speed of her walking by over 63% and significantly reduce her fall risk! Her score improved 40% on a self-assessment used to quantify the impact of a stroke on one’s quality of life. After believing there was no room for progress in her stroke recovery for over 20 years, these results are tremendous!

At Moterum Technologies, through the use of innovative and clinically proven technology, our goal is to provide stroke survivors and their loved ones with hope for a full life after a stroke. See if our technology is a good fit for you! For more information on the patented iStride™ Gait Solution, visit us at www.moterum.com.

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