Prestigious award honors adaptive and assistive technologies
Austin, TX - The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS)
announced Innovative Neurotronics earned the esteemed da Vinci Award® for
Adaptive Technologies for its product, the WalkAide® System. In the spirit of
the 15th century artist and visionary Leonardo da Vinci, the da Vinci Awards,
founded by the National MS Society, honor outstanding engineering achievements
in adaptive and assistive technology that provide solutions to accessibility
issues for people with disabilities.
"The significance of this prestigious honor is magnified because it's
bestowed upon us by a national organization that represents many of our
patients, people living with multiple sclerosis," President of Innovative
Neurotronics Jeff Martin said. "Validation of the efficacy and importance of the
WalkAide by our patients and their advocates motivates and inspires us to
continue on our mission of restoring functionality to those with neuromuscular
According to the NMSS, the recognition drives the marketplace to stimulate
investment in and development of further creative advances, ultimately enabling
everyone to participate and contribute in all aspects of society.
"Having struggled with MS walking-related limitations for 17 years, I was
thrilled to read about WalkAide," said Ann Serafin, a member of the da Vinci
Awards Committee and the National MS Society Advocacy Committee. "To paraphrase
a famous quotation - one small step for a woman, one giant leap for persons with
Presented by General Motors and chaired by Chet Huber, President of OnStar
Corporation, the 2007 da Vinci Awards presentation ceremony was held at The
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Dearborn, MI, on Friday, September 28, 2007. Funds raised
through these awards support the NMSS in their continuing efforts to aid those
affected by multiple sclerosis.
Launched in May 2006, the WalkAide System employs functional electrical
stimulation to treat a form of paralysis known as "foot drop" due to multiple
sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and cerebral
palsy. By using a patented sensor technology called an accelerometer and
transmitting data through a Bluetooth connection, the WalkAide sends low level
electrical signals directly to a motor nerve in the leg, stimulating the muscles
to raise the patient's foot at the appropriate time in the gait cycle. The AA
battery-operated device does not require surgery, external wires, or shoes.
A study published in the September 2006 issue of the peer-reviewed journal
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair suggests the WalkAide can reveal
hidden potential for additional patient recovery and mobility. The walking speed
of patients wearing the WalkAide increased by 15% after three months. With
continued usage, patients' walking speed increased by 32% after six months and
by nearly 50% after twelve months. The study also showed the number of steps
taken per day by WalkAide users increased significantly over the year.
About Innovative Neurotronics:
Designed as a portal to
rapidly introduce emerging neuromuscular technologies developed at major
research centers, universities, or in collaboration with industry suppliers
worldwide, Innovative Neurotronics, Inc. specializes in the development and
commercialization of devices that utilize electrical stimulation to improve the
functionality of an impaired extremity. Founded in May 2004, Innovative
Neurotronics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc.
(NYSE: HGR). For more information on Innovative Neurotronics, Inc. or the
WalkAide, visit http://www.ininc.us.
About the National MS Society:
MS stops people from
moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn't. We help each
person address the challenges of living with MS through our 50 state network
chapters. Proceeds from the da Vinci Awards have totaled more than $1.4 million
and benefit the National MS Society Michigan Chapter. Sponsorships and
individual contributions are welcome. For details, please contact the National
MS Society at 248-936-0349 or visit
www.davinciawards.com. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS.
We are people who want to do something about MS now. Join the movement at http://www.nationalmssociety.org.