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EUROSTARS: Spanish SME is searching rehabilitation centers and engine manufacturers to develop a device for rehabilitation cerebrovascular damages.

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: RDES20200117001
Publication Date: 23 January 2020

Summary

A Spanish engineering SME, which has developed a exoskeleton, is searching partners to submit an Eurostars proposal in order to develop a device for rehabilitation of patients who have suffered damage to their spine or brain for example after an ischaemic stroke. The SME is looking for two kind of partners;  a health center with experience in rehabilitation to adapt the device and an engine manufacturer to design a suitable motor.

Description

The engineering company, created in 2011 with several patents on the market, has developed an innovative exoskeleton to enable the autonomous mobility of paraplegic patients. This development was funded by SME Instrument under Horizon 2020 programme, and it is currently being implemented.  The SMES is interested in developing a project in order to adapt this exoskeleton to the rehabilitation of patients with spine or brain damage after cerebrovascular accidents. 

The incidence of ischaemic stroke is increasing, and it is estimated that by 2030 there will be 70 million people in the world affected by ischaemic stroke. Early treatment based on the patient's motor rehabilitation, after the onset of damage, is key to maximizing the chances of recovery in this type of neuronal condition. Rehabilitation centres or units do not usually have enough human or technical resources. As a result, long waiting lists and short rehabilitation sessions are common, and it does not favour patient recovery. Currently, the therapy of such patients is largely based on passive rehabilitation, which aim is to recover the sensitivity of the patient's muscles without their intervention.

The new rehabilitation development will consist of a device which let the patient trains the movements of the affected limbs through active collaboration in the process. The patient will activate the movement of the affected members through movements of their healthy members.

The new system is based on the previous device developed for the SME addressed to patients with paraplegia. This kind of patients suffering from paraplegia have mobility in their upper limbs, and they will use this mobility to activate the movement of their lower limbs, but this is a different situation for ischaemic stroke patients.

This new project to develop an appropriate device for ischaemic stroke patients aims to achieve the following challenges:

- The mechanisms involved in the rehabilitation process and learning process must be studied in order to adapt the device.

- Patients affected by ischaemic stroke usually have affected the mobility of half their body in the vertical plane (arm and leg), while paraplegic patients have affected the lower limbs. The device must be adapted to be controlled by the unaffected part (arm or arm and leg, which can be either left or right).

- The engines that drive the affected movements must have the right combination of performance, in terms of gearbox size and power delivery, Available engines in the market do not have it.

The SME is looking for:

- A clinic or rehabilitation center specialized in ischaemic stroke rehabilitation, with experience in robotic rehabilitation. It must contribute to the project with experience in the development of medical protocol that will be updated in clinical trials (after the end of the project).

- A engine manufacturer which will design and provide the most suitable motors to adapt the exoskeleton and will participate in the development of the first prototype.

This project will be submitted to the 14 cut off date of Eurostars Programme on 3rd of September. The project will last 24 months.

Advantages and Innovations

Unlike other options available on the market, using this device the patient is totally involved in generating movement in the affected limbs, being therefore concentrated and attentive to the process. The results will be better assimilation of movement, more intense neurological stimulation and generalised activation of the nerves.

In case of ischaemic stroke, patients will recover their functions faster with the new rehabilitation approach, and clinics' staff will not be required to put as much effort as now in rehabilitation exercises. It let them concentrate in other aspects of the rehabilitation, contributing to a faster recovery.

The price of the device will be lower than other options on the market, making it more affordable for rehabilitation centres.

Stage Of Development

Proposal under development

Requested partner

The SME is looking for:

- A clinic or rehabilitation center specializing in ischaemic stroke rehabilitation, with experience in robotic rehabilitation. It must contribute to the project with experience in the development of medical protocol that will be updated in clinical trials (after the end of the project). Once the project is finished the clinic will have special conditions to continue using the product and will be a reference unit.

- An engine manufacturer which will design and provide the most suitable motors to adapt the exoskeleton and will participate in the development of the first prototype.Once the solution reachs the market, the partner will benefit from it by providing motors to all units sold.

The partners must be from an Eureka-Eurostars country and must meet the eligibility criteria of their country national funding body.

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