Resumption of firing of the VMO muscle after a knee implant has been shown to take an average of 3 weeks and is a key metric for positive outcomes. In cases where the muscle does not resume firing, a poor mobility outcome and potential re-admission is likely. While surface electromyography (sEMG) can sense and display whether the muscle is being activated and greatly shorten the time to resume firing, it is rarely used for this purpose. Typical sEMG units are expensive and cumbersome and not practical to deploy quickly in the clinic or send home with a patient to help guide their recovery. Dynofit Inc. has developed an inexpensive, convenient wireless wearable sEMG sensor that displays muscle activation data on the patient's cell phone and provides motivational metrics and games to keep them on track with their exercise protocols while sending data to the cloud for use in the care team's remote patient monitoring platform. The sensor can be used in the clinic to benchmark baseline muscle activation prior to surgery and then sent home with the patient to help them regain their muscle activation after surgery. The sensor, called the Flexdot, pairs with apps on the patient's cell phone to verify that an exercise is being done correctly, record the number of reps and magnitude for exercises performed and communicate with the care team. The Flexdot system provides data logging, compliance tracking, engaging games, and motivational metrics to keep the patient committed to taking responsibility for their own outcome.
The Flexdot system overcomes some of the factors that are demotivating for patients trying to follow an exercise protocol at home between appointments. These include a lack of oversight, uncertainty about whether the exercise is being done correctly and a lack of immediate feedback, goals and rewards. The Flexdot is placed by the patient over the muscle being exercised and they are able to see immediate feedback about the muscle activation on their cell phone, set goals and thresholds, keep track of their exercise sessions, play games using the muscle activation and gain points as they get stronger. In addition, the Flexdot data can be monitored remotely by the therapist and care team, providing remote oversight and communication and allowing them to track the patient's compliance and recovery trajectory and allocate resources accordingly.
The Flexdot is very valuable for a variety of additional use cases. For patients with muscular impairments due to neurological factors, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, etc... the Flexdot provides an additional visual and auditory biofeedback loop to help the patient find and reconnect damaged muscle control. The small size and convenient cell phone interface allows patients to access biofeedback therapy in their own time anywhere they choose to use it and helps with the consistency that is required to regain muscle control both in the clinical setting and from home.
The Flexdot mobile form factor and low cost allows many of the traditional uses for sEMG to be taken outside the clinic and used at home while being remotely monitored by the care provider. It also supports completely new uses for sEMG that can only be accessed with the Flexdot’s small and convenient wireless wearable format.
The Flexdot is the only wireless wearable mobile EMG sensor on the US healthcare market. It is FDA listed as a Class II medical device, has two patents pending and is currently available for purchase.
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