AI-Powered "NeuroSkin" Trousers Assist Stroke Patient to Walk Again
Innovative AI technology has been making headlines recently as a stroke survivor, Julie Lloyd, learns to walk independently again, all thanks to a pair of high-tech trousers powered by artificial intelligence. Lloyd, aged 65, is taking part in the UK’s very first trial of this so-called "smart garment" recognized as the NeuroSkin trousers. She described this technological advancement as a breakthrough indispensable for her fellow stroke patients.
The "NeuroSkin" trousers work by stimulating Lloyd's paralyzed leg using electrodes controlled by AI technology. As commented by The Stroke Association, such innovative technologies are potentially becoming a beacon of hope for the 1.3 million stroke survivors across the UK.
While NeuroSkin technology has already started revolutionizing stroke care in France, Lloyd is among the pioneering set of individuals involved in the UK's own trial.
Understanding the NeuroSkin better, it is important to know that this AI-driven gear is not designed for everyday wear or use at home. Instead, it specifically aids patients to perform repetitive motions essential for recuperating their ability to walk. As of now, leasing the NeuroSkin costs roughly £5,000 per month.
Taking into account the instances when the garment has been worn, Lloyd recounts: "My leg almost feels as if it's being guided". After initially experiencing a tingling sensation, she found herself walking unaided within few minutes — a remarkable improvement considering it has been six months since her stroke.
The electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), a technique that has been used for decades in stroke care, involves 'zapping' weak and atrophied muscles back into action. However, NeuroSkin employs a more refined approach. AI connects to the electrodes and is worn in a vest. With each step, the AI gathers information about the impulses being sent by the brain to the healthy leg, and then sends a mirror impulse to the patient's weakened leg, a method used to recreate their natural stride.
As we look forward to the next 5 to10 years, approaches towards stroke treatment and recovery look promisingly transformative. However, it is essential to remember that taking new treatments from the lab to clinical practice requires time. The journey may have its share of challenges but as for stroke survivors like Julie Lloyd, the future certainly looks hopeful.