Johnny Ross’ own grueling 12-week rehabilitation following total knee reconstruction in 2007 led to development of a new medical device that allows prescribers to customize physical rehabilitation protocols to meet each patient’s needs.
Ross, co-founder and CEO of MedHab, developed the wearable device that measures body weight, pressure, gait, flexibility and heat – all in “quick time” so that the person using it will know
immediately what progress he is making.
The StepRite device provides continuous data and feedback so the patient can determine how much weight he is putting on the injured limb and exactly how much improvement he is making regarding range of motion, Ross explained.
“I definitely believe it would have sped up my rehab, absolutely,” Ross said. “It didn’t make sense that I never knew if I was performing the task exactly as specified. I knew there had to be a better way.”
Sensors for data collection are contained within insoles that fit into the patient’s shoes. “No one even knows you have it on, but through wireless technology it speaks to you and tells you when you are doing the exercises correctly,” Ross said.
“The goal is to have limbs operate bilaterally equivalent,” he said. “Trainers, coaches and sports medicine experts have long realized that bilateral equivalence can make athletes stronger, faster and perhaps less prone to injury.”
A major advantage is that the device is worn on both limbs so you can tell when you are favoring one side of the body or the other, he noted. Until now, there was no accurate way to determine bilateral equivalence.
Initially – beginning June 1 – the device will be marketed to athletic trainers and coaches for use in strengthening the legs of healthy athletes, but Ross said he hopes to win Food and Drug Administration approval so that physicians and physical therapists can begin prescribing the device for their patients before the end of the year.
The patented device will also give physicians and therapists direct information on a HIPAA-compliant website so they know how patients are progressing.
“Hopefully, at some point, it will be used as a preventive tool to keep the athlete from getting hurt,” Ross said. When the thermal sensing technology is totally developed it will be helpful for diabetes patients who often suffer nerve damage and have no feeling in their feet.
– Carolyn Poirot
For more information, visit www.impactourworld.com