Myomo Running Lean After Slow Initial Sales of Robotic Elbow Brace

4/21/09

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break into the home market with the e100 device sometime in 2009, says Kelly, adding that the sector has greater potential than the hospital market. The plan is to initially sell the system to recovering stroke victims who have used the system while in therapy, and partner with rehab clinics to fit patients with a properly sized device. There are about 3 million chronic stroke survivors with upper extremity paralysis in the U.S., Kelly says, and many of them could benefit from additional use of the e100 system after therapy. Though it’s rare, it’s not unheard of to market neurological devices without insurance reimbursements directly to patients. Bethesda, MD-based prosthetic and medical devices maker Hangar Orthopedic Group (NYSE:HGR), for instance, sells a neuro-stimulation device known as the “WalkAide” to patients who pay for the product without reimbursement. (The firm didn’t publish sales figures for the product, but Kelly tells me the firm made $9.1 million on the device in 2008.)

To provide further validation of the e100, Myomo is supporting a 20-patient clinical study of the device at the Drake Center rehab clinic in Cincinnati. The study is intended to show that the device is effective as an adjunct to therapy provided by a clinician. The trial is expected to wrap up by the end of this year, and Kelly says Drake researchers are expected to present positive results from the first two patients in the study during the 2009 American Occupational Therapy Association Conference in Houston later this week.

“Everything about the technology continues to stand up against scrutiny and is as promising as it has always looked,” Kelly says, “and the challenge is to put one foot in front of the other and put the infrastructure in place so people can take advantage of it.”

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  • maria

    The myomo is a great idea with a good motive, but it does not promote the correct movement. Yes, patient’s can flex their elbow better, but the motor is doing most of the work, and with elbow flexion as a focus, it only increases spasticity and tightness of the affected arm, promoting the wrong muscles to be stimulated. By wrong muscles, I mean the specific muscle groups biased towards flexion, causing a compensatory movement. Secondly, the myomo does not support the wrist or hand, which only increases the tightness and flexor synergy even more. In closing, I’d like to say, this device has been unsuccessful not because of the economy, but because it promotes an inappropriate movement, and other specifics such as its inability to support the hand and wrist.

  • kori jax

    I really do need this device but the price is out of my reach at the moment, and being in the medical field i can understand why some facilities wouldnt be buying this product to use with their patients, they simply do not have enuff of them i am a stroke patients and the 2 facilities that i frequent one has only myself to treat for paralysis from stroke and the other has about 2 or 3, theres no reimbursement there even for about a whole year of visits for 1device.my suggestion is to drop the price a little or set up a payment or assistance program. Thanx and have awesome day