With reflex-based electrical therapy, electrical stimuli are applied to the foot sole. This evokes the withdrawal reflex, which supports the patient in taking a step. The stimuli will be delivered and controlled by the ReflexFET that is currently under development. This device will consist of an insole and a control unit. The insole will integrate a foot switch, and the electrodes needed to evoke the reflex. The control unit will trigger the electrical stimuli in the very moment the patient lifts the foot from the floor during gait training.
Reflex-based electrical therapy will be used as an augmentation of existing training methods that can be used with both weight-reduced treadmill training and when the patients are walking by the support of a therapist. Consequently, the use of reflex-based electrical therapy will not alter existing practices, but will be an augmentation that leads to a more efficient use of the patient’s training time resulting in a better walking quality.
Gait problems are a common disability for stroke patients. For many patients the first really important milestone is to regain the ability to move freely and independently. At the same time gait rehabilitation is a challenge for moderately to severely affected patients. With current rehabilitation methods, many of these patients have still significant gait problems after completing their rehabilitation program. Reflex-based electrical therapy will assist the patient to start walking earlier in the process and to reach a better gait quality than would otherwise be possible.
Training with the INCEDO system
Parts of the INCEDO system
Reusable parts of the INCEDO system:
- Control unit.
- Patient cable.
- Neck strap.
Disposables that are needed for a gait training session:
- Foot sensor.