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How Can Tech Innovations Help Cerebral Palsy?

Technological innovations can offer incredible opportunities for advancement to people around the world. One of the groups with the highest potential to benefit is those who suffer from any sort of disability. For those dealing with cerebral palsy, tech innovations have the potential to completely transform their lives.

Cerebral palsy involves permanent movement disorders, and symptoms first appear in early childhood. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but medical advances continue to be made regarding treatment. In conjunction with medical advancements (and until a cure for this disorder is hopefully found), tech innovations are already changing the way of life for many who are suffering from cerebral palsy.

Life-Altering Innovations.

There are amazing products out there to help with cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, like most new technology, these items don’t come cheap. By hiring a cerebral palsy lawyer, parents who face financial difficulties can be compensated. This compensation can help you cover the cost of the latest technological innovations that can help your child to live life to the fullest.

There are many technologies either already in use or in the testing phase for those dealing with cerebral palsy. Here are a few of the devices that are currently being used to change lives.

Robotic Crawler.

The robotic crawler, or to call it by its official name, the Self-Initiated Prone Progression Crawler, is a machine that helps give babies at risk of developing cerebral palsy assistance in crawling. The infant lays on a wheeled cart and is strapped into a harness that connects them to a three-legged robot with an EEG cap that fits on the child’s head and monitors their brain activity. When the child tries to crawl, the sensors tell the robot, and the machine rolls forward with the baby.

Children’s brain development benefits greatly from movement, and the process works both ways as brain development helps to aid in motor function. The Progression Crawler helps both areas develop as it aids the child in movement.

Motorized Ankle Brace.

Braces are common among children with cerebral palsy, both as a means of support and in improving mobility. Some hard shell leg braces end up immobilizing the leg and cause the muscles in the leg to atrophy from underuse. However, the motorized ankle brace takes the leg brace to the next level by using dielectric elastomer actuators, which are flexible “smart materials” that act as artificial muscles.

The brace is lightweight and non-constrictive, allowing the benefits of a standard brace to multiply by actually helping to increase the mobility of the leg and build up the muscle further while increasing range of motion.

Eye Gaze.

Perhaps the most exciting tech innovation of the bunch, the Eye Gaze, has potential benefits for cerebral palsy patients of all ages as well as people suffering from a wide range of other movement impairments. Unlike the Progression Crawler and the motorized ankle brace, the Eye Gaze does not help with improving movement, but rather helps those with impaired movement to perform far more tasks.

The Eye Gaze is essentially a hands-free tablet that uses an invisible laser to read a person’s eye movement across the screen. The tablet can be programmed for a wide variety of functions, and all the user has to do to operate it is to look around the screen and stare at a specific item for a preset amount of time to select that item. The possibilities for this machine as it continues to develop are limitless.

The Future Is Bright.

With advancements being made in the fight against cerebral palsy on the medical front, hopefully, before too long, these technological advancements will no longer be necessary and will be adapted to fit other illnesses instead. Until that time though, these are exciting innovations for people dealing with cerebral palsy and with plenty of research still being conducted, other new and exciting ideas will be transforming into realities right around the corner.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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