Evaluation of the Keeogo™ Dermoskeleton
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Purpose: (1) To determine the specific functional characteristics of individuals with neurological impairments that may predict successful use of Keeogo™ dermoskeleton and (2) to quantify the specific benefit Keeogo™ provides to a regular user of the device. Methods: Thirteen individuals (seven males; six females; 52 ± 4.6 years old) with mobility impairments due to neurological disease or injury were recruited. Berg Balance Sale (BBS) score and Timed Up and Go (TUG) performance were used to identify baseline characteristics in participants. The 6-min walk test (6MWT) and 25-foot walk test (25FWT) were performed with the participants wearing and not wearing the dermoskeleton; a successful user of Keeogo™ displayed a ≥ 5% improvement in walking performance while wearing the device. A chronic stroke survivor (hemiparesis on left side) completed the stair climb test (SCT) and the 30-second chair stand test (30CST) with and without Keeogo™. Muscle activity, kinetics and postural control were analyzed during the sit-to-stand (sitTS), and compared to an age- and sex-matched healthy control. Results: Successful users of Keeogo™ have a moderate level of functionality (BBS: 46-51 s and/or TUG: 8-12 s). Wearing Keeogo™ improved performance on the 30CST, SCT and improved motor control, postural control and movement kinetics during the sitTS task in a chronic stroke survivor with significant hemiparesis. Conclusion: This is the first study providing data to help to identify which individuals with neurological impairment might benefit from using Keeogo™ dermoskeleton, together with new information quantifying its functional benefit to the user. Implications for Rehabilitation Keeogo™ is a user-initiated dermoskeleton that has been designed to assist individuals with mobility impairments to participate more effectively in activities of daily living (ADLs). Moderately impaired individuals have the greatest potential to benefit from using the device. Benefits of wearing the device include improvements in walking speed and endurance, performance on ADLs, motor control, kinetics, and postural control.
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