June 2013

DOD awards $1M in research grants to help amputees regain walking ability

The US Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program awarded Seattle-based Cadence Biomedical $1 million on May 30 to fund development of new technology for amputees.

Cadence makes the Kickstart Walking System, a wearable device without batteries or electricity designed to help individuals who have had a stroke, incomplete spinal cord injury, or other neurologic impairment regain walking ability.

One of the grants will fund development of a progress tracker for Kickstart that will help patients and their physical therapists develop customized therapy programs. A second grant will support development of a new device that incorporates sensory feedback technology for amputees learning to walk with prostheses.

Jim Lynskey, PT, PhD, associate professor at A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ, is clinical investigator for the DOD grants.

“Kickstart is quickly becoming an important rehabilitation tool, thanks to its unique ability to assist the hip flexors. By developing sensory feedback, outcome tracking, and sensory feedback technology, Cadence will be able to help more patients who may have given up on any possibility to walk again, and help clinicians remotely monitor their progress to help tailor more effective training programs,” he said.

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