SBIR Phase I: Real-Time Rehab to Improve Gait Symmetry in Amputees

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1215290
Agency Tracking Number: 1215290
Amount: $148,424.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: EI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
615 Arapeen Dr, Suite 310, Salt Lake City, UT, 84108-1254
DUNS: 078287238
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stacy Bamberg
 (801) 581-7792
Business Contact
 Stacy Bamberg
Phone: (801) 581-7792
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of wireless instrumentation and smartphone technology used for feedback to amputees about their real-time performance for ubiquitous rehabilitation in situ. The goal is to improve the mobility and quality of life of persons with ambulatory disabilities (5.2% of U.S. adults ages 18-64). This research will provide a new paradigm for rehabilitation that occurs throughout the patient's daily life with reduced reliance on a therapist. The intellectual merit of the proposed research lies in the opportunity to profoundly transform the field of rehabilitation and to advance healthcare by enabling a fundamental shift toward low cost, ubiquitous rehabilitation that can be used away from the clinic. The technology seeks to provide feedback anytime and anywhere to enhance the proprioception - the sense of where limbs are in space- that has been impaired by disability. Active cueing (in contrast to current reactive cueing methods) will provide a more proprioceptive feedback that will better enable persons with amputations due to systemic complications (e.g. diabetes) to respond and make changes in their gait. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project includes the focus on mobility limitations in persons with lower-limb amputations, which affect twice as many minorities as Caucasians. The commercial potential is vast: with diabetes as the major contributor to amputations, the number of amputees is forecast to triple to 3.6 million by 2050. In addition, the knowledge gained can be expanded to impact individuals with a wide variety of mobility limitations, e.g. stroke, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, etc. The orthopedic market- 773,000 total hip/knee replacements performed annually in U.S.- is also commercially relevant, as patients must effect an asymmetric gait following fracture repair or joint replacement to reduce weight-bearing on the healing limb. Another significant group are athletes seeking to improve performance or recover from injury through precision gait analysis and real-time feedback. In this Phase I proposal, this research will quantify the effect of this research by enabling persons with amputations due to diabetes to use individualized proprioceptive feedback and to participate in the design of the personalized feedback methods. This work will enable a wealth of information collected away from the clinic, including a way to investigate how and whether patients follow treatment protocols.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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