Functional Electrical Stimulation
Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) uses electrical pulses to stimulate weak or paralysed muscles in such a way as to support performance of activity of daily living, such as walking, or reaching for and grasping objects. Salford has a long history of research in this area, dating back to the early 2000s when members of the team worked with colleagues in the Netherlands and Salisbury, and a UK company Finetech Medical on the development and subsequent commercialisation of a system for treating drop foot. Subsequent work included clinical studies to better understand the value of drop foot stimulation to people with stroke and systematic reviews of the effectiveness of FES for drop foot, which have subsequently been cited in a number of international guidelines. More recently, the team has focused on the development of systems (see, for example here and here) to enable high intensity practice of functional tasks by people with arm weakness following stroke. The aim is to enable therapists to support more than one patient at a time, so increasing the ‘dose’ of therapy they are able to deliver. The work led to a spin-out company, Bet R Medical, based in Jinan China, who are developing a pre-commercial system based in part on the work of the Salford team.
Click the links below to learn more about projects in this area.