Previous studies have shown that walking on a split-belt treadmill can improve walking patterns after stroke. However, these improvements are only temporarily retained once individuals transition to walking over ground. Researchers hypothesize that longer-lasting effects would be observed if the training occurred during natural walking over ground, as opposed to on a treadmill.
To study this hypothesis, researchers developed a mobile and portable device that can simulate the same gait-altering movements experienced on a split-belt treadmill. The new motion-controlled gait-enhancing mobile shoe improves upon the previous version’s drawbacks. Our version of a GEMS is the Moterum iStride Device™. It has motion that is continuous, smooth, and regulated with on-board electronics. A vital component of this new design is the Archimedean spiral wheel shape that redirects the wearer’s downward force into a horizontal backward motion. The design is passive and does not utilize any motors. Its motion is regulated only by a small magnetic particle brake.
Further experimentation is needed to evaluate the long-term after-effects of using the Moterum iStride Device™. However, the researchers are hopeful that this new device could be a valuable tool for stroke rehabilitation.
Here are some additional details about the Moterum iStride Device™:
- The Moterum iStride Device™ is a shoe-like device that is worn on the affected leg.
- It has a small motor that drives a spiral wheel.
- The wheel is attached to the shoe’s sole, and it rotates as the wearer walks.
- The rotation of the wheel creates a force that pushes the wearer’s leg forward, helping to improve their gait.
- The Moterum iStride Device™ is easy to use and can be worn for extended periods of time.
- It is a safe and effective way to improve walking after stroke.