You have heard about bionic eyes and limbs, but today we have a bionic wrap- the Cionic Neural Sleeve by a bionic clothing startup. A first-of-its-kind healthcare product designed to reciprocate with the human body, the sleeve helps restore and improve mobility. Cionic Neural Sleeve uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand and influence human mobility in real-time, enabling greater access and independence for those with reduced mobility, such as individuals with multiple sclerosis, stroke, and cerebral palsy.
The mobility technology innovation leverages personalized algorithms to analyze an individual’s gait pattern and deliver functional electrical stimulation (FES) to activate the correct muscles and support gait in real-time. Software-controlled currents utilize electrodes placed inside the sleeve to activate muscles – improving ease of walking, increasing strength and range of motion, facilitating muscle re-learning, and elevating comfort overall.
Designed for individuals with restricted mobility, the bionic sleeve is fashioned for easy everyday wear and take-off. The lightweight, breathable fabric is similar to sports leggings in various colors and sizes. The sleeves get paired with the intuitive Cionic app for users to control their mobility journey.
The Cionic Neural Sleeve has been run through trials to document improved outcomes. In the trials, the two parameters considered were foot drop dorsiflexion at heel strike for 94 percent of users and ankle inversion during the swing for 88 percent of users. On a combined analysis of the two measures, the mobility technology startup highlighted an improvement of nine degrees for both sets of users.
The Founder and CEO of Cionic, Jeremiah Robison, said that building bionic clothing to augment human movement is a thoughtful and holistic approach. It starts with advanced and adaptable technology keeping users’ mobility needs in the center to deliver real impact. The sleeves are designed for comfort and ease of use. Jeremiah adds that Cionic has always pushed the boundaries of the human-machine interface from designing software to soft goods to contribute to the future of assistive technology. The Cionic Neural Sleeve is not a single solution but a platform to analyze, predict, and augment human movement.
The wearable leg prioritizes user experience. Alongside improving mobility and independence, the design strives to help wearers overcome some of the emotional upset that can come with having reduced mobility. To achieve this, Cionic and fuseproject worked with potential users to understand their needs and create “the best possible solution.”
Dr. Jacqueline Nicholas, System Chief Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis at the OhioHealth MS Center, has advocated for the Cionic Neural Sleeve, seeing two of her multiple sclerosis patients walk better than they had in 10 years after programming the device to their needs. She said, “This is the first comprehensive system that addresses key muscle groups of the leg, which means it has the potential to improve mobility and function with continued use. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
The bionic clothing startup has run home usability trials to understand the impact of the bionic leg on mobility over time. Not only has reported mobility improved for many of these users, Cionic notes, but the number of users experiencing moderate-to-severe pain has come down by 60 percent, and the number of users experiencing moderate to severe anxiety or depression has reduced by 75 percent.
fuseproject’s sleeve design for the bionic startup, CIONIC, empowers users with a new freedom of movement and motion rehabilitation–allowing for more fully engaged and independent lives. The outcome is a comprehensive and customizable solution that reveals the future of broader, more scalable mobility solutions. The good news is that the startup is now accepting pre-orders for early 2023 delivery in the US, after which it hopes to explore launching the sleeve internationally.
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