The goal of ABiodynamics will be to provide biomedical engineering-related products and services that will enhance the health, wellness and independence of the less healthy population. Products will be modified when possible to advantage the healthy population as well. This first project will aid individuals with partial paralysis or sensory deprivation while performing rehabilitation exercises. Sometimes semi-paralyzed people cannot feel if or to what extent they are contracting their muscles so continuous feedback on the extent of muscle activation would help them to visually see their progress and enable the user to monitor their success. ABiodynamics aims to develop innovative devices that give feedback to users, which would improve and optimize muscle control and activation.
Individuals and health professionals typically monitor the weight lifted during exercises but the individual cannot monitor the extent of activation. Since many exercises involve body weight, force monitoring is not adequate. By allowing users to visualize the extent of their contractions, they will see improvement much faster, as they know which muscles to activate and how much they are doing so. This will certainly aid people who are not able to move their limbs by an amount visible to the human eye, as it shows the muscle activation, and not just how much they have moved. The coordination of muscle contractions is just as important as the extent of activation and our device will permit the individual to monitor and adjust the timing of their muscle contractions. It will increase the sensitivity of any contraction or series of movements, allowing the user to better monitor barely negligible changes in muscle activation and coordination.
Anna Behm is the founder of ABiodynamics and plans to work on this project full-time during upcoming entrepreneurial work terms.