In the last decade, medical research has made significant strides in improving healthcare outcomes and extending life. Breakthroughs occur at an ever increasing pace, particularly where the goals of biotechnology advances and medical practice overlap, as in rehab medicine. Five such noteworthy developments with therapeutic applications are:
- The Audeo: The device attaches to the neck at the larynx to detect sub-threshold neuromuscular activity and then synthesizes it into speech. This is particularly useful for patients with disabled communication, due to stroke, neuro-muscular dystrophies or traumatic brain injuries. A joint venture of Ambient Corporation and Texas Instruments.
- MyoSpare: Small electrical stimulators are embedded in casts to “exercise” muscles and prevent atrophy. Patients can control electrical stimulation levels throughout the healing process. A product from StimuHeal, Inc.
- iShoe: Insoles with sensors, created by an MIT/Harvard grad student, that measure and analyze force distribution on a person’s foot. These are particularly useful in monitoring balance issues in the elderly and for fall prevention.
- Nerve Regenerator: A nano-generated gel was created by researchers at Northwestern University to inhibit scar tissue formation at spinal cord injury sites. Once injected the liquid reassembles like a scaffold to support new nerve growth.
- Rocket Propelled Prosthesis: Designed by a Vanderbilt University mechanical engineering professor, the device replaced battery-powered prosthesis. Using small amounts of rocket propellant, these prostheses give up to 18 hours of activity and lift almost 4 times the weight of previous models.
Biotech innovation is changing the face of modern rehabilitative practices. Centra brings that same reliance on cutting edge technology to the healthcare staffing field. If you are an SLP, PT, or OT looking to work in an environment that nurtures innovation, call us at 800 535 0076.