May even improve circulation too as an added benefit...BD
In the spirit of the 15th century artist and visionary Leonardo da Vinci, the da Vinci Awards honour the most innovative developments and research in adaptive and assistive technology that embrace the Universal Design Principle-an approach to the design of products, services and environments to be usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or circumstance.
WalkAide is a medical device that, after more than a decade in development, has received marketing clearance from the FDA for improving walking ability of people suffering from dropfoot. The condition is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved in lifting the front part of the foot (including peroneal nerve palsy), which causes a person to experience symptoms such as dragging the toe of the shoe on the ground or slapping the foot on the floor. Invented by a team at the University of Alberta, WalkAide uses functional electrical stimulation to restore the typical nerve-to-muscle signals in the leg and foot, effectively lifting the foot at the appropriate time during the gait cycle. The resulting movement is a smoother, more natural and safer stepping motion. Users are able to walk faster and for longer distances with less fatigue. In fact, many people who try WalkAide experience immediate and substantial improvement in their walking ability, which increases their mobility, functionality, and overall independence.