Helping stroke victims to walk normally

Foot Drop System

Helping stroke victims
to walk normally

Patients with foot drop, due to a damaged peroneal nerve or paralysis of lower leg muscles, can walk normally with the help of the XFT Foot Drop System.

IDC developed an advanced medical device for XFT which helps people with neurological conditions walk again. The Foot Drop System uses electrical pulses to counteract the foot dropping due to personal nerve damage or leg muscle paralysis.

The system includes a small functional stimulation (FES) device which is strapped to the patient's leg. This sends electrical signals to the nerves stimulating the muscles to raise the foot so the patient can walk. The FES device works in conjunction with a foot sensor which detects the walking rhythm of the patient and helps regulate a normal walking pattern.

IDC worked with XFT through all design phases from concept through to production. The team carried out research with both patients and doctors to understand how the product would be used. Doctors required easy assembly/disassembly of the device whereas patients preferred design comfort and functionality.

From this research IDC designed a strap with an embedded plastic 'C' shape strip to help it hang on the leg while the buckle is clipped. This means that stroke victims who lose control of one side of their body can strap this device to their leg with just one hand.

IDC also designed a velcro strap which enables the electropads on the device to be moved along the leg so that it can be adjusted for each user. In order to ensure easy assembly/disassembly for doctor's IDC designed a holder for the stimulator to clip into.

IDC produced several prototypes, using a variety of materials before the look and structure was finalised. All the components of the Foot Drop System (stimulator, strap, electropads, foot sensor and remote control) were designed to have the same family style.

The Foot Drop System is the second product IDC has designed for XFT. Jackey Woo, Project Manager for XFT explains, "Combined with IDC's excellent design, we have turned this FES device into a high-tech advanced machine."

XFT has SFDA certification in China for the Foot Drop System and it is currently being used in over 10 cities. Their next step will be to apply for further certification to continue sales across the world.