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Thursday, October 02, 2008

IsraMedTech: Defeating Muscle Atrophy Via Electric Shocks?

For all of those who have ever broken a bone or sprained an arm/leg/foot, one thing that is quite annoying is seeing your muscles wither away after months of non-use because they sat in a hard, itchy cast.

While the only (current) method of dealing with this is to simply exercise ones muscles in therapy, an Israeli company called StimuHeal has come up with a unique way to stimulate those muscles without endangering your fragile bones.

(Israel 21st Century) An Israeli company believes it has the ultimate solution to keep your muscles strong, even when you are immobilized, and your bones broken. The six-year-old company StimuHeal has invented an electrical stimulation device - the MyoSpare - that sits under your cast, stimulating your muscles to stay strong, even when your biggest workout is switching the channels on the remote control. [...]

Using existing equipment on the market, StimuHeal identified the technical and clinical limitations of activating the muscles underneath casts using Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), a well-recognized tool in the American healthcare system.

If electrodes were to be inserted under the cast, the company recognized, prolonged sweating would be a problem. They also had to develop the perfect stimulation regime so the lactic acid and CO2 wouldn't build up in the muscles, causing pain and discomfort. StimuHeal solved this by developing a microprocessor that calculates a cycle for the muscles to rest.

StimuHeal plans on selling Myospare for about $300 USD (once approved), which may make it attractive towards the sporting industry (who is always trying to find ways to help star players heal faster after an injury).

MyoSpare is currently available in both Israel and Europe, although it is still awaiting FDA approval in the US (perhaps StimuHeal's biggest potential market).

(Image Credit: StimuHeal)

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