Helping stroke victims to walk normally

Foot Drop System

Helping stroke victims
to walk normally

IDC developed the thinnest wearable medical device on the market to aid foot drop problems

XFT commissioned IDC to develop an advanced medical device which pushed the boundaries of wearable medical technology to support patients with foot drop problems.

The device used a small functional stimulation (FES) device strapped to the patient’s leg to send electrical signals to the nerves, stimulating the muscles to raise the foot so patients with neurological problems could walk again.

Having designed the previous generation of the device, XFT was keen to partner with IDC again to develop a futuristic solution. The team wanted to move away from structural frameworks of plastic mouldings, and instead choose materials that fit like a second skin to deliver optimum electrode contact for high performance.

IDC conducted extensive ergonomic research and materials testing to find the best solution.

A combination of Lycra and flexible nylon were chosen for a perfect balance of comfort and effectiveness. The Lycra was used without padding, making it extremely lightweight and soft. By using a special hot-bonding process, it was possible to selectively modify the fabric’s elastic properties to spread the tension evenly around the leg.

Within this fabric, a semi-rigid flat C-shaped flexible nylon piece was added. The clever C design enabled it to be clipped on with only one hand, holding the device in place while the patient closed a magnetic clasp.

The area of electrodes within the device was also increased to ensure the best position for electrical contact with the peroneal nerve.

IDC supported XFT through US FDA certification and the new product has been exceptionally well received in international markets. Jackey Woo, Project Manager for XFT comments, "Combined with IDC's excellent design, we have turned this FES device into a high-tech advanced machine."