Startup using music to help stroke patients walk gets breakthrough designation


After seeing music help his patients, Brian Harris, a board-licensed music therapist, turned his work right into a digital therapeutic. Called MedRhythms, the Portland-based startup makes use of music at the side of sensors to help continual stroke patients enhance their strolling.

The firm made an necessary step towards bringing its first product to market: It obtained the FDA’s Breakthrough Device Designation, which might speed up the regulatory course of for medical gadgets. To qualify, firms should show that no different exists and that it addresses a big unmet want.

“There is currently no standard of care for chronic stroke survivors with walking deficits, yet these impairments are strongly linked to fall risk, lack of independence, and decreased quality of life. We are thrilled the FDA has designated our product as a Breakthrough Device, recognizing its potential to impact an area of high unmet need and bringing us one step closer to reaching people who need this care,” Harris, CEO and co-founding father of MedRhythms, mentioned in a information launch.

Danielle Briggeman, the corporate’s medical and regulatory affairs supervisor, mentioned she was hopeful that the designation would enable MedRhythms to carry its first product to market with an expedited timeline.

“Having this designation opens the door for swift, interactive discussions with FDA on our development efforts that we otherwise would not have under the current Pre-Submission Program,” she mentioned in a information launch.

MedRhythms developed sensors that patients can connect to their sneakers. After calculating their present stride, the system begins enjoying music by means of headphones. It can change the tempo of the music to allow them to enhance the velocity of their strolling.

MedRhythms is at present testing the system in a randomized medical trial between 5 rehabilitation hospitals and analysis facilities, together with the Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, the Kessler Foundation in New Jersey, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, and the Boston University Neuromotor Recovery Laboratory. It will consider the system’s influence on strolling amongst stroke survivors with post-stroke strolling impairments.

In the longer term, MedRhythms plans to develop further merchandise for Parkinson’s illness, a number of sclerosis, growing old and fall prevention.