How A Father is Improving the Mobility of People with Cerebral Palsy, Starting with his Son.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a lifelong physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is the most common physical disability in childhood, an Australian child is born with cerebral palsy every 15 hours.
For most cases, there is no way to know the cause of the disability, and there is no known current cure. Contrary to common belief, recent research has shown that only a very small per cent of cases is due to birth complications. Instead Cerebral Palsy arises from a series of events that when combined can cause or accelerate brain injuries when newly developing.
The effects of Cerebral Palsy are largely on a case by case bias as people have different levels of severity in different places in their body. But commonly they may experience uncontrolled or unpredictable movements, muscles can be stiff, weak or tight and in some cases, people have shaky movements or tremors.
Regardless of the severity of the disability, Assistive technology is essential to aid mobility. Particularly support for the spinal cord relieves chronic pain as abnormalities of the spine and hips make sitting, standing and walking difficult.
The Polyspine Project.
Co-founder Riley was born with Grade 5 Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and needs physical support for his upper body and head. Riley’s Dad the second co-founder, Clint used his talent and determination to construct several models of exoskeletons. The team worked together to find solutions to provide people with moderate and severe physical disabilities with much-needed torso and head support, to enable more ability to take on any activities they desire.
A powerful father-son relationship, and an eye for innovation. Originally the custom devices were specifically designed for Riley, but recently they turned their inventions into a large-scale project in hopes that other people with physical disabilities can be as active as Riley is today.
We are hoping to turn our start-up, Polyspine, into a global company. We now have a large team of designers and engineers to collaboratively work on the design. Polyspine has been researching the use of exoskeletons to improve mobility for several years, we have currently begun human trials as of August 2020 in Sydney, Australia. We are closer and closer for our product to be easily accessible in the public market, with working towards obtaining a series of industry and regulatory approvals.
Cerebral palsy expert associate professor Prue Morgan, who heads up the Physiotherapy Department at Monash University, has taken a look at photos of the prototype and thinks it has great potential “to allow young people to get out and about and do what normal young people like to do”.
How Does Polyspine Help?
The invention is a back brace that attaches to a vest to reinforce and support the spine, core and neck. Our supportive exoskeletons are customisable for people with moderate to severe physical disabilities. It provides support to users with a physical disability so that they are able to participate in rehabilitative and recreational activities; outside of their main wheelchair or accessibility equipment.
PolySpine is able to help people with a range of disabilities include people with cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, motor neuron disease and any other disabilities with similar symptomatic profiles.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a physical disability that impacts your mobility, you may be able to benefit from PolySpine’s customisable supportive exoskeleton. Polyspine’s disability equipment can be used to increase mobility and allow the user to take part in physical activities that they would otherwise not be able to. Disabilities which impact the spine and cause limited mobility are a particular focus of the Polyspine team. Progress is underway to get our project into the hands of people who need it. For more information about Polyspine, contact our team or sign up for a trial.