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News

Improved walking comfort for stroke patients

Otto Bock Healthcare : 05 December, 2013  (New Product)
ActiGait system is an implantable drop foot simulator for use in stroke patients to improve walking comfort
Improved walking comfort for stroke patients


Ottobock has upgraded its innovative implantable drop foot stimulator. The ActiGait system, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, now provides a more discreet control unit along with a lighter and more flexible heelswitch to help raise the foot of stoke patients suffering weakness or paralysis of the ankle muscles. The system provides a steadier and more natural walking pattern meaning users can focus on their outer environment and return to more normal daily activities with greater confidence.



There are approximately 152,000 strokes occurring in the UK every year and 1.1 million stroke survivors living in the UK. Studies show that stroke is a leading cause of adult disability with more than half of all stroke survivors left dependent on others for everyday activities1.  It is further estimated that many thousands suffer with drop foot. Drop foot is the result of missing signals from the brain to the leg muscles responsible for lifting the foot. It is a frequent result of damage to the central nervous system following a stroke and can affect walking ability, confidence and independence.



ActiGait is implanted beneath the skin of the thigh and works wirelessly with implanted electrodes. When stimulated with an electronic impulse, the system activates the muscles of the lower leg to lift the foot and toes during walking, which then helps to create a more natural gait. The system enables stroke patients to walk longer distances at an increased speed and with improved confidence. Falls are less likely as the technology helps to avoid the tip of the foot from catching the ground meaning the wearer has the freedom to lead a more active and independent life.



New ActiGait features:



* Smaller and lighter control unit - ideal for active users who require a discreet unit

* Versatile and magnetic attachments - control unit no longer has to be attached to waistband and can be worn under a dress or shirt

* Heel switch is more flexible, lighter, and with improved battery life - can be easily positioned using only one hand

* A special heel sock - users can walk barefoot and easily change shoes

* Detachable antenna and intuitive control unit display and controls - user friendly and easier donning and doffing



"Ottobock continuously listens to feedback and strives to enhance products to reflect new technology and meet the ever-changing patient needs." states Dr Salim Ghoussayni, Business Development Manager for Neurostimulation at Ottobock. "As a result, ActiGait has been adjusted to improve user comfort and ease of use. Combined with the first evidence from patients continuing to successfully use the system 10 years post-implantation, ActiGait is a durable and effective solution for people living with drop foot after stroke."


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