Neurolutions, a company with offices in Santa Cruz, CA and St. Louis, MO, won the FDA again authorization to introduce its IpsiHand rehabilitation system in the United States. It is the first approval of a brain-computer interface technology for the rehabilitation of stroke patients and promises a faster and more complete recovery of hand function in many patients.
The IpsiHand system takes advantage of the excited side of the brain to cause the opening and closing of a robotic exoskeleton located on the affected arm. The patient wears an EEG headset that detects brain waves that interprets the relevant signals and sends them to the exoskeleton. The idea is based on the concept that “neurons that shoot together connect,” according to Neurolutions, and how the patient wants to move their hand actually does. This is done repeatedly over several sessions, which take place in the clinic or at home independently. This repetitive enhancement has been shown in clinical studies to significantly improve therapy outcomes, including muscle reeducation and increased range of motion, in patients well after (≥ 6 months) of their stroke diagnosis.
According to its manufacturer, there is a little more about the technology:
IpsiHand is indicated for use in patients 18 years of age or older who undergo stroke rehabilitation to facilitate muscle reeducation and to maintain or increase range of motion.
All participants in a study of 40 blind patients for 12 weeks demonstrated an improvement in motor function with the device during the trial. Adverse events reported included fatigue and minor discomfort and temporary reddening of the skin.
Product page: IpsiHand