Myomo, a wearable medical robotics company, announced that MyoPro — its myoelectric orthosis or powered brace — is now available for use by teenagers with paralyzed or weakened arms due to injuries or neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
MyoPro is a lightweight wearable device that helps restore functionality in the arms and hands of those with paralysis.
The brace was originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with the assistance of researchers at Harvard Medical School, to help adults with with MS and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and who had a stroke, brain or spinal cord injury or the like.
The device works by reading the faint nerve signals (called myoelectric signals), through non-invasive sensors at the surface of the skin, to then activate small motors to move the arm and hand as the user intends.
According to a company press release, the MyoPro has enabled its users to again perform daily-life activities, carrying or opening objects, feeding themselves, and doing household tasks.
“We can now provide these teens with a chance to help restore function in their arms and, as a result, improve their quality of life. This announcement represents an expansion in our market reach and our ability to serve those most in need of our technology,” said Paul R. Gudonis, chairman and chief executive officer of Myomo.
To facilitate MyoPro fittings and delivery to adolescents, Myomo has partnered with Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley of Chicago, one of the largest pediatric outpatient rehabilitation centers in the United States, as well as with other youth institutions and children’s hospitals.
“MyoPro will help develop arm control for adolescent clients with neurological disorders, giving them greater independence,” said Kathy Schrock, vice president of clinical services at Easterseals.
The MyoPro electric arm was given a quality designation or CE Mark in July 2017, which is required for selling medical equipment in Europe. The CE Mark certification indicates that MyoPro complies with EU medical-equipment legislation, making the device available in countries in the European Economic Area, which includes the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland.
In the U.S., the company has applied for its eligibility under Medicare and Medicaid services, providing it what is known as “L” codes; Myomo announced a “favorable preliminary decision” in May that, if made permanent, would allow such codes to be effective come January 2019.