Skip to main content

A brand new, state-of-the-art wearable device for stroke survivors boasts the potential to help up to 50 per cent of stroke survivors to recover movement in their arm.

Currently, for moderate-to-severe stroke survivors, who are often left with limited or no movement in their arm due to stroke, there are limited treatment options available.

However, a new device has shown early signs of opening up new possibilities for these stroke survivors.

The PowerBead device, developed by KnitRegen, uses smart textiles in order to deliver state-of-the-art muscle stimulation that allows patients to continue their recovery outside of therapy sessions.

Working alongside KnitRegen, CPI has developed the prototype of the device, which is wearable around the wrist and also has an integrated rechargeable battery and bluetooth connectivity.

This collaboration between CPI and KnitRegen addressed medical safety requirements and made the device more energy efficient by selecting the correct components for the design.

Estimations suggest that one in four individuals are likely to experience stroke during their lifetimes, with 50 per cent of those suffering moderate-to-severe impairments as a direct result.

Early evidence from a study involving 16 stroke survivors showed that the PowerBead can artificially activate muscles in the hand and arms.

It is now planned to test the long-term recovery effects of the device in stroke survivors to see how their strength and movement improves over time. Information collected from this study will be used to create a final prototype ready for independent clinical testing.

Glenn Aitchison, Electronics and Mechanical Manager at CPI, says:

“We are delighted to have worked with KnitRegen to help develop this state-of-the-art technology proof of concept. This device has the potential to provide life-changing treatment for people who have moderate-to-severe impairments in their arm after suffering from a stroke.

“CPI are committed to helping companies like KnitRegen develop their products across healthcare and medical devices, following clear guidelines and regulations to reduce risk and deliver on the client’s needs. We are looking forward to helping KnitRegen on their path towards clinical trials for this device.”

Dr Laura Salisbury, Director and CEO at KnitRegen Ltd, says:

“We have some really exciting work on the horizon that could see many stroke survivors benefit from our technology. Working with CPI has enabled us to develop our control board and power supply from our previous test prototype. This means we can travel to more stroke survivors across the UK to enable them to take part in our testing – a really important step because we want to ensure our device is optimised to meet the needs of as many people with diverse backgrounds and mobility issues as possible.”