How NexStride Solves the problem of Freezing of Gait ? Sidney Collin in Talks with Pramod Dhakal
Sidney Collin is the inventor of the NexStride, and is the co-founder and CEO of De Oro Devices. De Oro Devices is a VC-backed biomedical device start-up whose mission is to develop products to improve mobility, independence, and quality of life for those who suffer from mobility disorders and the aging population. NexStride is a small, portable device that uses research-backed sensory cues to help people with Parkinson’s overcome freezing of gait and be able to walk smoothly.
Sidney started the company while studying Biomedical Engineering at Cal Poly. She has an
academic research background in computational neuroscience, with a recent research paper
published in the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. In addition, she has experience working in R&D at a past medical device startup during their product launch. Sidney was awarded Cal Poly’s 2019 Outstanding Woman in Engineering award, Outstanding Student Award, and Lisa Hufford Scholarship Award. She was also recognized as one of the most influential women at Cal Poly by the Wire in their 30 under 30 list, and as an accomplished young business leader in the Pacific Coast Business Times 40 under 40 list.
Freezing of gait is an abnormal gait pattern that can accompany Parkinson’s disease (PD) as well as other parkinsonian disorders in which there are sudden, short and temporary episodes of an inability to move the feet forward despite the intention to walk. In a sense, you’re stuck. This results in the characteristic appearance of the feet making quick stepping movements in place. However, while the feet remain in place, the torso still has forward momentum which makes falls unfortunately common in the context of freezing of gait. For some, these episodes can simply be frustrating, annoying and perhaps embarrassing; for others freezing of gait can become incredibly disabling and lead to injury.
So what is NexStride?
De Oro Devices’ mission is to improve mobility, independence, and quality of life. Our first product, NexStride, uses visual and auditory cues to help people with Parkinson’s overcome freezing of gait to regain mobility and independence.
Freezing of gait is one of the most common and most debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s, defined as a sudden onset of immobility. Research shows that external sensory cues can be used to reconnect the brain and body, bypassing the damaged neural circuits, to overcome freezing of gait. They took the most effective visual and audio cues and combined them into one small, versatile device that attaches to any cane or walker. The visual cue is a green laser line and the auditory cue is a metronome, customizable to the person’s walking speed. These cues have been scientifically shown to be effective in reducing the duration of freezing episodes, frequency of episodes, and frequency of falls.
The NexStride is a simple and effective way to regain independence and mobility.
Pramod Dhakal is a Tech entrepreneur at heart, a natural leader and Agile practitioner. He has spent over a decade in implementing various large scale transformation initiatives in large multinational organizations. He is an author and contributor at Hitechies largely in the technology space.
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