“A Different Tune” A Story By NPR Station WHYY (The Pulse) – 1/26/18
Paige Pfleger reports on the ReLOAD system and how it is used to improve the gait of one veteran who lost her leg in 2005 and now walks on a prosthesis.
ACCelerate Festival: Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. – 10/12/17
We were fortunate to participate in the ACCelerate Festival held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Here’s an excerpt from an article about the event linked below.
“A first-of- its-kind collaboration among UM musicians, biomedical engineers, and physical therapists, the patent-pending ReLOAD system helps amputees develop correct walking patterns on their prostheses with a clever reward—music borrowed from their own playlist. Composed of an iPad and five miniature motion sensors, two embedded in a knee sleeve on each leg and one on the back, ReLOAD captures and analyzes the wearer’s walking motion, and through standard ear buds, distorts the music whenever their gait deviates from its normal stride. Augmenting the music are the corrective commands the wearer would hear from a physical therapist, were one present.
“There was nothing like this when I became an amputee,” said Jennifer Lopez, who lost her lower right leg in an accident three years ago and never tired of demonstrating the device over the three-day festival. “It’s a physical therapist in your pocket.”
The director of nursing operations at University of Miami Hospital, Lopez said she was fortunate to have regular physical therapy during her recovery. But many new amputees, including military personnel at nearby Walter Reed Hospital, which is collaborating with UM on a ReLOAD study, often wait months for appointments, making ReLOAD an extraordinary asset.”
“Music App may help amputees” A story by WTAJ News at 6 – 2/15/17
They created an app called Reload. It uses music to help amputees walk properly using their prosthesis. The chip takes the information of how the patient should walk and transmits that wirelessly to their tablet or iPhone. Then they pick their playlist and off they go. Gailey explained, ‘They will hear the warped music or something of that nature and it reminds them they need to walk better.’
“eMerge Americas cranks up to showcase, celebrate tech” A story by The Miami Herald – 4/18/16
Nancy Dahlberg and Jane Wooldridge report about the ReLOAD System (ReLOAD stands for Rehabilitative Lower-limb Orthopedic Audio-feedback Device). It’s a sensor that is attached to a prosthetic and reacts by warping the music being played on the person’s cell phone so that whenever the individual wearing the prosthesis doesn’t walk properly the sensor warps the music as a means to warn the patient’s gait is not correct. It’s like having a physical therapist on their phone so that they’re constantly being monitored. This constant monitoring will hopefully keep the patient from developing secondary problems such as arthritis or back pain.
“Music & Prosthetics” A story by Science Update – 1/8/14
Bill Hirshon reports: A musical boost for wounded warriors. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update. Veterans who have lost limbs in battle face another difficult battle: learning to walk using prosthetic limbs. But the University of Miami’s Department of Physical Therapy and the school’s Music Engineering Program have teamed up to help. They’ve developed sophisticated sensors for prosthetic limbs that interact with digital music players. When patients are walking correctly, they hear music playing properly, like this. Improper walking warps or thins the music. Correcting the problem provides an audio boost. Physical therapist Bob Gailey says amputees using the musical cues learn to walk better, sooner, and they can practice at home. He says the technology will eventually be available for civilian use as well. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.
Other News Stories:
- Frai S (25 August 2016) “UM student returning in fall after stepping on explosive.” The Miami Hurricane. Available: http://www.themiamihurricane.com/2016/08/25/um-student-in-recovery-after-stepping-on-explosive/
- Camel M (27 September 2013). “Body Tune-Up.” University of Miami News. Available: http://miami.edu/index.php/news/releases/body_tune-up/