MedRhythms: Restoring Walking Quality with Music

article image

Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability and often severely impairs walking function. MedRhythms is using sensors, music, and software to build evidence-based neurologic interventions to measure and improve walking. The company is developing a pipeline of digital therapeutics in neurologic conditions, beginning with chronic stroke for its flagship product.

Strokes have an occurrence rate of 800,000 per year in the US, with 80% of sufferers experiencing walking impairments and 25% requiring rehabilitation before discharge from the hospital. The ensuing physical therapy can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years in more advanced cases. As a result of neurologic trauma, reduced fine muscle control can inhibit patients’ balance and gait, thereby increasing the risk of falling and sufferingfurther injuries. Also, the fear of anticipating a fall increases ambulatory hesitation and has an additional detrimental effect on proper gait.

MedRhythms Inc., a start-up based in Portland, ME, is tapping into a therapy developed in the 1990s with origins about 20 years prior known as rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS), a clinical application of sonic cues that activate the brain’s motor cortex to regulate the timing of movements. The guiding principle behind RAS is entrainment, utilizing themotor system's ability to couple with the auditory system to drive movement patterns.


This article is restricted to subscribers only.

Sign in to continue reading.


We're here to help! Please contact us at: