Lisa Donahue PT, MPT, NCS, the director of Clinical Services at Evolution Devices, offered details about the EvoWalk platform, its potential in neurorehabilitation efforts, and its future clinical availability.
Evolution Devices has announced the launch of its EvoWalk Platform pilot program for the rehabilitation of walking for those living with neurologically based partial walking paralysis.
The company’s approach is designed to combine remote neurologic physical therapy (PT) with its EvoWalk smart stimulation device to help patients avoid falls and get instinctual movement back. The company originally focused its efforts on footdrop in multiple sclerosis (MS), with the EvoWalk remote therapy platform allowing these individuals to meet with physical therapists virtually, for a personalized and comprehensive rehab program.
Currently, there is an ongoing pilot study of the platform through Evolution’s Lisa Donahue PT, MPT, NCS, director, Clinical Services, Evolution Devices. Additionally, the physical therapy department at the University of California–San Francisco is running a clinical study. To find out more about the EvoWalk platform, its potential in neurorehabilitation efforts, and when it might be available to patients and clinicians, NeurologyLive inquired further with Donahue.
Lisa Donahue PT, MPT, NCS: The EvoWalk is changing the way functional electrical stimulation is used in at least 3 major ways.
First, the e-stim provided by the EvoWalk is accurately timed to each individual’s gait. The device, once applied, can automatically adjust to an individual’s gait pattern with minimal intervention from a healthcare professional. This reduces time spent applying and setting up the device, and it allows clinicians to spend more time in their treatment sessions working with their patients in other ways.
Also, the data collected and displayed is incredibly valuable to clinicians as healthcare moves towards data-driven care. Clinicians can track their patients remotely in a number of clinically important metrics. And, the data collected by the EvoWalk is not only valuable to clinicians, but to patients as well. If a person has access to their walking data, combined with communication with a physical therapist, it can lead to improved motivation to be active and confidence in walking.
Last, the compact size of the device makes it comfortable for patients to wear under clothing. Patients participating in the pilot trials have reported feeling less self-conscious with a small device.
Patients with weakness primarily in the anterior tibialis anterior would benefit from the EvoWalk. Patients with upper motor neuron lesions are more likely to benefit. The hope is that the EvoWalk will be available by the second quarter of next year, pending FDA clearance.
We are very excited about the results we have seen in all of our pilots so far. We are working with UCSF to release a white paper or abstract, hopefully before the end of the year, on their results. The next round of pilot trials is about to begin and results are expected by the end of the year. We are expanding both the pilots with our clinical collaborators as well as our internal pilots to bring on more patients based on our initial success.
Evolution Devices has included both quantitative and qualitative measures during all of the pilot trials of the EvoWalk. The qualitative information has helped ensure that the device meets the needs of the end-users, both clinicians and patients. We really wanted to hear from patients and medical professionals what they thought about the EvoWalk, and how it could have been made better each time. The quantitative data obtained from the device has been beneficial in learning how clinicians will be able to follow their patients over time. Looking at the quantitative data is also helping us ensure the information presented is relevant to our patients because the main goal of the EvoWalk platform is to help our patients maximize their functional independence.
The pandemic has accelerated the acceptance of telehealth worldwide, and the EvoWalk platform is built to complement this new telehealth world through telerehabilitation. As clinicians and patients continue to use the platform and work the quantitative data into their care plans, we expect to see improved patient engagement, and generally more physical activity from people living with neurological impairments. The EvoWalk platform aims to prevent falls and improve walking, but as the platform grows and our technology continues to improve and integrate into care plans, we will be building a care plan to improve other forms of physical ailment for people living with different neurological conditions, helping people regain their independence.
Transcript edited for clarity.