BETHESDA, Md., Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc. (NYSE: HGR) announced today the
launch of the WalkAide® System, the first offering in a line of functional
electrical stimulation devices by its wholly-owned subsidiary Innovative
Neurotronics, Inc. (IN, Inc.). Founded January 2004, IN, Inc. initially focused
on clinical studies and protocol designs for the treatment of a form of
paralysis known as foot drop. This effort culminated with the WalkAide System,
which includes diagnosis, treatment modalities, and delivery of an electrical
stimulation device by a trained medical practitioner.
"We are thrilled to be able to provide new hope for our patients," IN, Inc.
President Jeff Martin said. "The WalkAide is only the beginning. Considering the
efficacy of this first device, the clinical depth of Hanger's orthotists, and
the reach of our distribution system, Hanger and IN, Inc. are poised to evaluate
and deliver additional treatment protocols and devices within the field of
Cleared for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in
September 2005, the WalkAide System counters the lack of ankle dorsiflexion in
patients who have sustained damage to upper motor neurons or pathways to the
spinal cord. The system allows a qualified clinician to analyze the patient's
leg and foot movements, which are identified by a patented sensor technology
called an accelerometer and transmitted via a Bluetooth® connection. Once the
device is fit on the patient, electrical signals are sent to the peroneal nerve
(i.e. the nerve that controls the movement of the ankle and foot), prompting the
muscles to raise the foot at the appropriate time and allow the patient to walk
more normally. Worn around the leg, just below the knee, the wireless AA
battery-operated device is about the size of a deck of cards.
"More than an exciting new product, the WalkAide System incorporates a
clinical team, extensively-trained to work with patients of all neuromuscular
conditions," Hanger President and COO Tom Kirk said. "WalkAide patients can be
confident they have a qualified rehabilitation partner who will work to achieve
the best possible outcomes."
In addition to improving the patient's gait, medical benefits of the WalkAide
System are increased mobility, strength, and endurance; decreased energy
expenditure; prevention, retardation, and/or reversal of muscle atrophy; and
maintained or increased joint range of motion. Further benefits may include
reduced incidence of injury, increased circulation, muscle re-education,
maintained or increased bone density, and strengthened damaged central nervous
system pathways and muscle/spinal circuits.
Currently available nationwide to patients exclusively through Hanger's
certified orthotists, IN, Inc. plans to expand availability of the WalkAide
through physical therapists and other rehabilitation specialists later this
IN, Inc.'s line of technologies resides in a unique space between prosthetics
and orthotics called Myo-Orthotics"™ technology. More than simply bracing a limb
to improve mobility, Myo-Orthotics technology actually restores the
functionality of an impaired extremity by mimicking and recreating natural
nerve-to-muscle response by way of electrical stimulation.
Designed as a portal to rapidly introduce emerging neuromuscular technologies
developed at major research centers, universities, or in collaboration with
industry suppliers worldwide, IN, Inc. specializes in the development and
commercialization of devices that utilize electrical stimulation to improve the
functionality of an impaired extremity. IN, Inc. draws on the clinical
specialization, national reach, distribution supply chain, and regulatory
affairs expertise of its sister companies, specifically, Hanger Prosthetics
& Orthotics, the nation's largest orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) patient
care company, and Southern Prosthetic Supply (SPS), the world's largest
distributor of O&P devices.
About Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc.:
Hanger Orthopedic Group,
Inc., headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is the world's premier provider of
orthotic and prosthetic patient care services. Hanger is the market leader in
the United States, owning and operating 618 patient care centers in 45 states
including the District of Columbia, with 3,405 employees including 1,017
practitioners. Hanger is organized into four units. The two key operating units
are patient care which consists of nationwide orthotic and prosthetic practice
centers and distribution which consists of distribution centers managing the
supply chain of orthotic and prosthetic componentry to Hanger and third party
patient care centers. The third is Linkia which is the first and only provider
network management company for the orthotics and prosthetics industry. The
fourth unit, Innovative Neurotronics, introduces emerging neuromuscular
technologies developed through independent research in a collaborative effort
with industry suppliers worldwide. For more information on Innovative
Neurotronics, Inc. visit http://www.ininc.us.
For more information on Hanger, visit www.hanger.com.
Certain statements included in this press release are forward looking
statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. Please refer to the Company's SEC filings for factors that could cause
actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations.
Contact(s): Jason Owen, 301-986-0701, firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Contact(s): Jennifer
Bittner, 301-280-4869, email@example.com
SOURCE Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc.
CONTACT: Investor Relations: Jason Owen, +1-301-986-0701,
Media: Jennifer Bittner, +1-301-280-4869,
of Hanger Orthopedic Group