Tuesday, 20. May 2014
The patient’s daily routine is the deciding factor
Dr. Böing advocates a paradigm shift in how we analyse medical devices at the OTWorld Congress
What proves the effectiveness of a device – when does this become evident? Finding the answer to this question often takes several years during which time the product is closely examined. Studies analyse gait pattern, walking speed and foot position. However, there is something other than this evidence that is decisive: the patient’s daily routine.
Dr. Thorsten Böing, head of Neurorehabilitation at Otto Bock HealthCare Germany, put the spotlight on this fact at the OTWorld trade show in Leipzig. He talked on “Innovations in Orthotics” and presented the first random tests where users of ActiGait (neuroimplant) and MyGait (surface stimulator) were asked how suited these devices were for everyday use. They all use functional electric stimulation to be able to raise the foot again while walking. Central nervous system damage had led to weak dorsal flexion whether due to a stroke, multiple sclerosis, a brain trauma or incomplete paraplegia.
How well can users move about in their own homes and in public buildings? Do MyGait and ActiGait simplify shopping and having an evening out? What is the patient’s day like away from treatment and the gait analysis laboratory? Users answered numerous questions – and it turned out that their day to day life with MyGait and ActiGait was significantly better. Böing explained that it is essential to take a patient-specific approach. The effect of these devices on the daily life of patients is ignored all too often.
Böing concluded by asking the specialist audience for a paradigm shift: “future studies should focus on patients and their daily life”.
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