Sloane Schwalenberg – Independent Project

Sloane Schwalenberg – Independent Project

Class of 2017

Introduction to Topic

With the help of my mentor Jessica Maher, a physical therapist, I worked alongside children whose limbs and joints had problems due to muscle weakness. During my 70 hours of shadowing I wanted to create an innovation that would improve muscle stimulation in a kid friendly manner. The method of muscle stimulation I choose to utilize was electrical muscle stimulation or EMS, which stimulates the contraction of muscles through electrical impulses. It has been a common in tool in post recovery for athletes and children with mobility disorders. It affects the central nervous system the most and promotes muscular strength (Maher, 2016-2017).

Project Description

The first time I saw a prescribed EMS device was during an early session with my PT, Jessica Maher. The patient was an eight year old girl who’s right leg was shorter than her left. Due to the constant pressure she causes by leaning on her left leg she has little use and muscular strength in her right leg. To isolate her target are of muscle weakness the prescribed EMS device was used to stimulate contraction on her leg and ankle (Maher, 2016-2017). I noticed that the wires connecting her to the device caused her discomfort and were not visually appealing to the child. I was told that the most companies haven’t marketed specific EMS device brands where children were the main focus (Maher, 2016-2017). Once I decided I wanted to innovate and EMS device to be targeted for children’s therapeutic recovery/use, my first priority was to make the device wireless and comfortable for the child. I wanted the device to be worn like an accessory, it dawned on me that I should make my EMS innovation an accessory (Cogmdeix Corp, 2012). The innovation I created was a myo-electrical stimulation bracelet/anklet that could come in a variety of colors and patterns to appeal to the child. A wireless transmitting box would activate/deactivate the bracelet while recording the intensity of the contraction throughout the interval of use (Cogmdeix Corp, 2012). I decided to showcase the extent of my innovation through both a physical and digital model.

Experience Description

During the course of my 70 hours of shadowing at Pediatric Mobility, LLC. I encountered patients with conditions I didn’t know existed and variety of tools and equipment that were fit to meet the patient’s specific need when completing exercises. I met a 7 year old boy with an extremely short torso. He is very energetic and seems to be comfortable moving around and communicating with others. Though he is able to stand and walk at a moderate pace he struggle to bend down in any sort of manner and due to is lack of flexibility. It is confirmed that he has metatropic dysplasia, a skeletal disorder characterized by short stature (dwarfism) with other skeletal abnormalities (Maher, 2016-2017).  Some of the tools I saw being used looked quite absurd such a giant platform swing, a moving stepping stool, which would proceed forward each time the patient would lean into their alternating sides. A female patient who is double jointed used a moving stepping stool in the appearance of a turtle. Patient D balances on the shell portion by leaning from one side to the other. This in turn causes the turtle to move slowly across the room. It is useful and entertaining to children who want improve balance and coordination (Maher, 2016-2017). Some patients had only temporary conditions while others would have to live with constant assistance, however all the patients I saw had displayed an unbelievable amount of persistence and strength in their exercises. It was through the constant support of Maher and the parents who would watch their kids with encouragement, and even be a part of the session, that I learned how much dedication it takes to improve the quality of each patient’s life. The layout of the building was specifically designed for any possible condition a patient may have. The lobby was big and open so there was no chance of narrow or crowded paths, the door itself was built to fit specific electrical wheelchairs for people with paralysis (Maher, 2016-2017). The main therapy room had mats, balls, stress toys, treadmills, swings that hung from the ceiling, and every game that a child might want to play to keep their minds engaged. The amount of care that went into the design of the place was admirable and even more so was the connection my PT, Maher, formed with all of her patients. She taught me that the brain cells of her patients did not regulate their limitations, the transmitters simply delivered vague message to any weak muscles or tendons the patient had (Maher, 2016-2017). I felt absolute respect for this woman I had come to know and enjoyed all my shadowing sessions. Personally. I questioned the tolerance for pain that some patients struggled with, things that had always been simple for me, such as walking across a room. Not only did the patients I encountered earned my respect but it made me appreciate that I had a healthy body, capable of anything I set my mind to. It was an experience and an opportunity for me to grow as a person and as a student.

Innovation Description

Myoelectric prosthetics have a number of advantages over body-powered prosthetics. Since it uses a battery and electric motors to function, the myoelectric artificial limb does not require any unwieldy straps or harnesses to function (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). The most advanced versions of these prosthetics are incredibly natural and our on point with purely cosmetic limbs (Maher, 2016-2017). While it is currently more expensive than other kinds of prosthetics, it also offers the best quality in regard to both cosmetics and functionality (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). It is estimated that the cost will eventually diminish as the technology becomes cheaper to reproduce. Once it is attached, the prosthetic uses electronic sensors to detect minute muscle, nerve, and EMG activity (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016).  It then translates this muscle activity (as triggered by the user) into information that its electric motors use to control the artificial limbs movements. Externally-powered artificial limbs are an attempt to solve this physical exertion through using a battery and an electronic system to control movement (Cogmdeix Corp, 2012). At the forefront of this technology is the myoelectric prosthetic (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). Prosthetic technology and new surgical techniques combine to create the most natural upper-limb prosthetic system to date (Ottoblock, 2016). Being the pioneer of myo electrical stimulation devices, I decided to model my innovations structure and durability after the prosthetics. With targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), you intuitively control the prosthesis—just like with a sound limb (Ottoblock, 2016). When the patient wants to move the arm, the nerve signals originally used for arm movement cause the chest muscle to contract (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). EMS used in a pulsing mode for ten to twenty minutes at very low intensity assists with recovery by stimulating circulation and the exercise it provides promotes capillary density (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). Based on how successful the technology was I decided to target the innovation to be worn around the muscles in the ankles, wrist, forearm, calves, and thighs of children and the material would be made to fit around the personal size and shape of all patients (Cogmdeix Corp, 2012). However it’s not just the United States that aims to reshape myoelectrical technology. New myoelectrical patterns have been demonstrated throughout countries such as Sweden to further advance this type of treatment when dealing with children and adults with muscular deformities or weaknesses (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). For my innovation I decided it needed to be adjustable for the measurements for the children’s limbs, can be clipped or snapped into place, possibly using magnets. I learned that the average size wrist is 9.5 inches and based the standard size of my myoelectrical bracelet on this information (Silverthorn, 2013). My top competitor, for a device that had a similar function to my innovation, is the Mini Tens/Ems Unit (FDA, 2015). This device is wireless and can also be worn around the wrist, but it lacks details and a target audience that my innovation addresses. My innovation is made of a durable plastic that is flexible and has a gel padded interior so it does not cause irritation to the skin (Silverthorn, 2013). My myoelectrical bracelet come in a variety of colors and patterns to appeal to the child’s visual aspects when they are working during therapeutic session and is also wireless to make the device convenient to use in different settings Unlike my competitor my innovation comes with a custom stimulation box, which displays graph that shows the stimulation intensity (v) over the force of contraction (g) (Silverthorn, 2013). The stimulation box also has two switches, one transmits a signal to the myoelectrical bracelet to turn it on and off. The other switch has three settings which controls the intensity of stimulation through low, medium, and high settings (Silverthorn, 2013). The bracelet itself is embedded with a transmitter,  a position sensor, and recording electrodes. The transmitter receives signals from the simulation box to be powered on and off, the position sensor locates the area of contraction and produces the correct amount stimulation intensity onto the target area of muscle (Backyard Brain Corp, 2016) . The recording electrodes then pick up the signals of the force of contraction and sends it to the stimulation boxes transmitter, which can also receive information as well as giving out commands, and the screen on the stimulation box displays the line graph of stimulation intensity over the force of contraction (Maher, 2016-2017). The myoelectrical bracelet transmitter is flat and circular and will emit a small light when activated/turned on (Backyard Brain Corp, 2016). My innovation will be packaged in a round or rounded cardboard container and will have a simple Myo-Care logo on the front of the container with a silver bracelet in the background. Myo-Care is the name of my company that created and markets my innovation to children with mobility disorders or conditions. It is registered by the FDA and our main company warehouse is located in Baltimore, MD. The simple cardboard design is meant to save cost on shipping out the device and also because Myo-Care is a green company. My innovation comes with a set of instructions included in the packaging and a number to call should any problems arise with the device.

Project Topic

Introduction to Topic

With the help of my mentor Jessica Maher, a physical therapist, I worked alongside children whose limbs and joints had problems due to muscle weakness. During my 70 hours of shadowing I wanted to create an innovation that would improve muscle stimulation in a kid friendly manner. The method of muscle stimulation I choose to utilize was electrical muscle stimulation or EMS, which stimulates the contraction of muscles through electrical impulses. It has been a common in tool in post recovery for athletes and children with mobility disorders. It affects the central nervous system the most and promotes muscular strength (Maher, 2016-2017).

Project Overview

Project Description

The first time I saw a prescribed EMS device was during an early session with my PT, Jessica Maher. The patient was an eight year old girl who’s right leg was shorter than her left. Due to the constant pressure she causes by leaning on her left leg she has little use and muscular strength in her right leg. To isolate her target are of muscle weakness the prescribed EMS device was used to stimulate contraction on her leg and ankle (Maher, 2016-2017). I noticed that the wires connecting her to the device caused her discomfort and were not visually appealing to the child. I was told that the most companies haven’t marketed specific EMS device brands where children were the main focus (Maher, 2016-2017). Once I decided I wanted to innovate and EMS device to be targeted for children’s therapeutic recovery/use, my first priority was to make the device wireless and comfortable for the child. I wanted the device to be worn like an accessory, it dawned on me that I should make my EMS innovation an accessory (Cogmdeix Corp, 2012). The innovation I created was a myo-electrical stimulation bracelet/anklet that could come in a variety of colors and patterns to appeal to the child. A wireless transmitting box would activate/deactivate the bracelet while recording the intensity of the contraction throughout the interval of use (Cogmdeix Corp, 2012). I decided to showcase the extent of my innovation through both a physical and digital model.

Experience

Experience Description

During the course of my 70 hours of shadowing at Pediatric Mobility, LLC. I encountered patients with conditions I didn’t know existed and variety of tools and equipment that were fit to meet the patient’s specific need when completing exercises. I met a 7 year old boy with an extremely short torso. He is very energetic and seems to be comfortable moving around and communicating with others. Though he is able to stand and walk at a moderate pace he struggle to bend down in any sort of manner and due to is lack of flexibility. It is confirmed that he has metatropic dysplasia, a skeletal disorder characterized by short stature (dwarfism) with other skeletal abnormalities (Maher, 2016-2017).  Some of the tools I saw being used looked quite absurd such a giant platform swing, a moving stepping stool, which would proceed forward each time the patient would lean into their alternating sides. A female patient who is double jointed used a moving stepping stool in the appearance of a turtle. Patient D balances on the shell portion by leaning from one side to the other. This in turn causes the turtle to move slowly across the room. It is useful and entertaining to children who want improve balance and coordination (Maher, 2016-2017). Some patients had only temporary conditions while others would have to live with constant assistance, however all the patients I saw had displayed an unbelievable amount of persistence and strength in their exercises. It was through the constant support of Maher and the parents who would watch their kids with encouragement, and even be a part of the session, that I learned how much dedication it takes to improve the quality of each patient’s life. The layout of the building was specifically designed for any possible condition a patient may have. The lobby was big and open so there was no chance of narrow or crowded paths, the door itself was built to fit specific electrical wheelchairs for people with paralysis (Maher, 2016-2017). The main therapy room had mats, balls, stress toys, treadmills, swings that hung from the ceiling, and every game that a child might want to play to keep their minds engaged. The amount of care that went into the design of the place was admirable and even more so was the connection my PT, Maher, formed with all of her patients. She taught me that the brain cells of her patients did not regulate their limitations, the transmitters simply delivered vague message to any weak muscles or tendons the patient had (Maher, 2016-2017). I felt absolute respect for this woman I had come to know and enjoyed all my shadowing sessions. Personally. I questioned the tolerance for pain that some patients struggled with, things that had always been simple for me, such as walking across a room. Not only did the patients I encountered earned my respect but it made me appreciate that I had a healthy body, capable of anything I set my mind to. It was an experience and an opportunity for me to grow as a person and as a student.

Innovation

Innovation Description

Myoelectric prosthetics have a number of advantages over body-powered prosthetics. Since it uses a battery and electric motors to function, the myoelectric artificial limb does not require any unwieldy straps or harnesses to function (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). The most advanced versions of these prosthetics are incredibly natural and our on point with purely cosmetic limbs (Maher, 2016-2017). While it is currently more expensive than other kinds of prosthetics, it also offers the best quality in regard to both cosmetics and functionality (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). It is estimated that the cost will eventually diminish as the technology becomes cheaper to reproduce. Once it is attached, the prosthetic uses electronic sensors to detect minute muscle, nerve, and EMG activity (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016).  It then translates this muscle activity (as triggered by the user) into information that its electric motors use to control the artificial limbs movements. Externally-powered artificial limbs are an attempt to solve this physical exertion through using a battery and an electronic system to control movement (Cogmdeix Corp, 2012). At the forefront of this technology is the myoelectric prosthetic (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). Prosthetic technology and new surgical techniques combine to create the most natural upper-limb prosthetic system to date (Ottoblock, 2016). Being the pioneer of myo electrical stimulation devices, I decided to model my innovations structure and durability after the prosthetics. With targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), you intuitively control the prosthesis—just like with a sound limb (Ottoblock, 2016). When the patient wants to move the arm, the nerve signals originally used for arm movement cause the chest muscle to contract (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). EMS used in a pulsing mode for ten to twenty minutes at very low intensity assists with recovery by stimulating circulation and the exercise it provides promotes capillary density (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). Based on how successful the technology was I decided to target the innovation to be worn around the muscles in the ankles, wrist, forearm, calves, and thighs of children and the material would be made to fit around the personal size and shape of all patients (Cogmdeix Corp, 2012). However it’s not just the United States that aims to reshape myoelectrical technology. New myoelectrical patterns have been demonstrated throughout countries such as Sweden to further advance this type of treatment when dealing with children and adults with muscular deformities or weaknesses (Myoelectric Prosthetics, 2016). For my innovation I decided it needed to be adjustable for the measurements for the children’s limbs, can be clipped or snapped into place, possibly using magnets. I learned that the average size wrist is 9.5 inches and based the standard size of my myoelectrical bracelet on this information (Silverthorn, 2013). My top competitor, for a device that had a similar function to my innovation, is the Mini Tens/Ems Unit (FDA, 2015). This device is wireless and can also be worn around the wrist, but it lacks details and a target audience that my innovation addresses. My innovation is made of a durable plastic that is flexible and has a gel padded interior so it does not cause irritation to the skin (Silverthorn, 2013). My myoelectrical bracelet come in a variety of colors and patterns to appeal to the child’s visual aspects when they are working during therapeutic session and is also wireless to make the device convenient to use in different settings Unlike my competitor my innovation comes with a custom stimulation box, which displays graph that shows the stimulation intensity (v) over the force of contraction (g) (Silverthorn, 2013). The stimulation box also has two switches, one transmits a signal to the myoelectrical bracelet to turn it on and off. The other switch has three settings which controls the intensity of stimulation through low, medium, and high settings (Silverthorn, 2013). The bracelet itself is embedded with a transmitter,  a position sensor, and recording electrodes. The transmitter receives signals from the simulation box to be powered on and off, the position sensor locates the area of contraction and produces the correct amount stimulation intensity onto the target area of muscle (Backyard Brain Corp, 2016) . The recording electrodes then pick up the signals of the force of contraction and sends it to the stimulation boxes transmitter, which can also receive information as well as giving out commands, and the screen on the stimulation box displays the line graph of stimulation intensity over the force of contraction (Maher, 2016-2017). The myoelectrical bracelet transmitter is flat and circular and will emit a small light when activated/turned on (Backyard Brain Corp, 2016). My innovation will be packaged in a round or rounded cardboard container and will have a simple Myo-Care logo on the front of the container with a silver bracelet in the background. Myo-Care is the name of my company that created and markets my innovation to children with mobility disorders or conditions. It is registered by the FDA and our main company warehouse is located in Baltimore, MD. The simple cardboard design is meant to save cost on shipping out the device and also because Myo-Care is a green company. My innovation comes with a set of instructions included in the packaging and a number to call should any problems arise with the device.

By | 2017-05-12T03:56:22+00:00 May 12th, 2017|Biomed Capstone Project 2017|0 Comments

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