Researchers design robotic belt for patients with spinal cord injuries — 6 things to know

Angie Stewart -   Print  |

New York City-based Columbia University School of Engineering researchers developed a robotic trunk support device to improve core control in patients with spinal cord injuries, Verdict Medical Devices reports.

What you should know:

1. The Trunk-Support Trainer, also known as TruST, is designed for patients with spinal cord injuries who typically use a wheelchair.

2. TruST is a motorized belt placed on the user's torso to determine postural control limits and sitting workspace area. When a user moves his or her upper body, the belt provides stabilizing forces.

3. Researchers evaluated how the device worked on five subjects using the Postural Star-Sitting Test. They published their findings in Spinal Cord Series and Cases.

4. Subjects were asked to follow a ball with their head and move their body as far as possible without using their hands or falling. The test was repeated in eight directions to determine each person's overall sitting workspace.

5. Researchers tailored the belt to apply personalized assistive forces, enabling subjects to reach about 25 percent further in all directions.

6. Researchers are exploring the use of TruST to improve trunk control in adults and children with spinal cord injuries.

More articles on orthopedics and spine:
Zimmer Biomet in 2019: 6 things to know
How Stryker plans to grow Mako — 4 insights from chief technology officer Robert Cohen
Medtronic Spine 2019: The year in review

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