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Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe

Individuals with stroke, or other brain damage, often have irregular and undesirable walking patterns. A stroke typically affects one side of the brain, which results in diminished control on one side of their body. This asymmetric loss of control results in asymmetric movements and walking patterns in which the individual favors one side of their body. Asymmetric walking patterns require more energy to walk, increase the chance of tripping or falling, and bring unwanted negative attention to the individual.

TAO Life Sciences is aiding in the development of a low-cost device capable of correcting the gait of individuals who have suffered a stroke. Researchers from the University of South Florida have invented a Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe (GEMS) which has been tested and has demonstrated a significant change in an individual's gait after wearing the shoe for only twenty minutes.

The advantages of GEMS are:

  • Designed for use in the patient's own home.
  • Allows for more frequent and efficient rehabilitation session
  • Leads to faster recovery and more permanent outcome
  • Lower cost than comparable gait rehabilitation methods

According to the National Stroke Foundation, there are currently 8,000,000 stroke survivors over the age of 20, approximately 795,000 strokes occurring each year in the United States, and 610,000 of these being first time strokes. Stroke costs the United States an estimated $73.6 billion each year, including the cost of health care services, medications and missed days of work. Stroke is expected to have the largest relative increase in real medical dollars spent over the next 20 years, increasing at a level of 238%. Approximately 50% of stroke patients have difficulty walking.

TAO will be supporting the developing of a second-generation shoe and the evaluation of it in a clinical setting.