Good Health & Well-being
wearable , medtech, FES, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy
United States of America
Jeremiah Robison and Yves Behar
The Cionic Neural Sleeve
A wearable device to aid people with mobility issues such as MS and CP to walk more freely.
How does it work?
The Cionic Neural Sleeve is the first product to combine the diagnostic power of a multi-million-dollar gait lab with the therapeutic power of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), all delivered in a comfortable, attractive legging that can be worn anywhere and operated by a smartphone. Packed inside the Cionic Neural Sleeve is the breakthrough, proprietary Read+Write Neural Interface that reads the signals sent from the brain to the muscles and activates the muscles directly using FES. Advanced algorithms properly sequence complex muscle firings to help people improve mobility. The Neural Sleeve is the first comprehensive system that addresses the key muscle groups of the leg, and the software-steered current and sensor array mean that a user will get a consistent experience with every use. The Neural Sleeve is also context-aware, meaning it knows whether a user is walking, sitting, standing, etc.; adjusting stimulation automatically so it is only delivered when needed.
Why is it needed?
Nearly 14% of American adults have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs — impacting their ability to live independently and enjoy a high quality of life, and can also lead to falls and severe injuries. For the millions of people who have difficulty walking due to strokes, multiple sclerosis (MS), and other neurological disorders, the problem isn’t that their legs are injured — it’s that their brains don’t effectively communicate with their limbs. The sensors monitor the position of the leg and the firing of individual muscles in it. CIONIC’s app analyzes that data to predict a person’s intention to take a step 1/10 of a second before their foot leaves the ground. It then commands the electrodes to stimulate the right muscles at the right time to support a natural gait.
How does it improve life?
Lack of mobility is a gateway disease. When individuals lose the capacity for mobility, it invariably leads to overall health declines. One CIONIC user describes this cycle: “It was hard to move, so I hardly moved, so it was hard to move.” CIONIC hopes to significantly improve the lives of the more than 35 million Americans currently struggling with mobility differences, empowering them to live more freely and independently. CIONIC was founded by Jeremiah Robison who believed there must be better options for his daughter's cerebral palsy diagnosis than crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs. If there is a category ripe for change, it is human mobility aids, which have seen very little true innovation during the centuries that they have been in use. Existing devices fail to address the underlying neuromuscular system. The product also enables individuals to wear the device as often as they like, to easily put it on and take it off, and to control the device anywhere via smartphone.