Better Mobility = Better Outcomes

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Walkasins aid in balance improvement, enabling doctors to prescribe a wearable device to patients suffering from balance problems due to peripheral neuropathy  (PN). This Lower Limb Wearable Sensory Prosthetic (WSP) replaces lost foot pressure sensation for PN patients.

Who are Walkasins for?

Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) patients who:

  •    >  still have sensation around the ankle

  •    >  have a need to improve balance and mobility

  •    >  sufficient muscle function to act on Walkasins sensory balance cues

Intended for use by PN patients having a need to improve balance (i.e. “at risk” faller) and with abilities described on CMS K-levels 1 through 3 below.

Level 0: Does not have the ability or potential to ambulate or transfer safely with or without assistance and a prosthesis does not enhance their quality of life or mobility.
Level 1: Has the ability or potential to use a prosthesis for transfers or ambulation on level surfaces at fixed cadence. Typical of the limited and unlimited household ambulator.
Level 2: Has the ability or potential for ambulation with the ability to traverse low level environmental barriers such as curbs, stairs or uneven surfaces. Typical of the limited community ambulator.
Level 3: Has the ability or potential for ambulation with variable cadence. Typical of the community ambulator who has the ability to traverse most environmental barriers and may have vocational, therapeutic, or exercise activity that demands prosthetic utilization beyond simple locomotion.
Level 4: Has the ability or potential for prosthetic ambulation that exceeds basic ambulation skills, exhibiting high impact, stress, or energy levels. Typical of the prosthetic demands of the child, active adult, or athlete.

Walkasins’ sole inserts measure foot pressure, and gentle tactile cues (similar to cell phone vibrations) provide balance information around the leg.

  • Compared to their peers, PN patients:

    • >  Experience 15 times more fall related injuries[1]

    • >  Walk and react slower, and have impaired balance[2]

    • >  Are most likely unaware they have balance risks[3]

     

    What are the Benefits:

    • >  Improves walking and balance after about 30 minutes of training.

    • >  Walkasins facilitate participation in balance exercises.

    • >  Participation in exercise can improve balance and fitness of PN patients.[4],[5]

    • >  Walkasins may help regain confidence in balance and mobility.

While conventional balance aids have tapped out their ability to provide better sensory input, walkasins produces near immediate improvement in gait and balance function, presenting doctors and clinicians with a unique solution to promote safe patient mobility and reduce the risk of falls.

DGI-score

Independent research carried out at New York University at Buffalo showed Walkasins provided immediate improvements in balance, postural stability and quality of walking. [6] The study used the Dynamic Gait Index and the results of using Walkasins achieved with a short practice session were comparable with results of 3 to 6 months of exercise for balance published in other journals.

DGI-scale


With approximately 30 minutes of training on the device, study participants were able to achieve a change in their Dynamic Gait Index Score equivalent to results achieved over multiple 30 minute sessions of strength training during a six month period.

The 65+ Falling Problem is Worsening - Something Needs to Change

Falls 65+

The CDC figure above is a line chart showing that during 2000-2013, age-adjusted death rates from unintentional falls increased steadily for both men and women aged ≥65 years, with consistently higher rates observed among men. During this period, death rates from falls increased from 38.2 per 100,000 population in 2000 to 67.9 in 2013 among men and from 24.6 to 49.1 among women. [7]

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[1] Cavanagh PR, Derr JA, Ulbrecht JS, Maser RE, Orchard TJ. Problems with gait and posture in neuropathic patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Diabet Med. 1992;9:469–74.

[2] Menz HB, Lord SR, St George R, Fitzpatrick RC. Walking stability and sensorimotor function in older people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004; 85: 245–52.

[3] Bongaerts BW, et al: Older subjects with diabetes and prediabetes are frequently unaware of having distal sensorimotor polyneuropathy: the KORA F4 study. Diabetes Care 2013; 36: 1141–1146.

[4] Cadore EL, Izquierdo M. Exercise interventions in polypathological aging patients that coexist with diabetes mellitus: improving functional status and quality of life. Age (Dordr). 2015 Jun;37(3):64. doi: 10.1007/s11357-015-9800-2. Epub 2015 Jun 9

[5] Kanade, R. V., R. W. van Deursen, K. Harding, and P. Price: Walking performance in people with diabetic neuropathy: benefits and threats. Diabetologia 49 (8):1747-1754, 2006

[6] K. Statler, D.Wrisley, R. Karlsson, M. Stephens, L. Oddsson and C.Wall (2007) Vibrotactile feedback of mediallateral trunk tilt or foot pressure reduces risk of falling in healthy older adults. Proceeding of International Society for Posture and Gait Research 18th International Conference, Burlington, Vermont, p. 49

[7] National Vital Statistics System mortality data. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm.

 

Walkasins are currently being designed and developed for individuals with peripheral neuropathy who have balance problems.  Walkasins have not been submitted to the FDA for review, and are not available for sale at this time.