Hocoma changes the game in at-home back training with introduction of Valedo®
Innovative medical device and therapeutic gaming technology restores motion to joints and redevelops deep muscles for sustained low back health
Norwell, Mass.—November 24, 2014––Eight out of 10 people will be affected by back pain at some point during their lives,[i] making it the No. 1 cause of disability worldwide[ii] and resulting in as much as $200 billion in lost wages and productivity. Many sufferers struggle for years to find relief, but treatment options often only provide short-term relief or, in the case of pain medication, carry serious side effects, including drowsiness, liver damage and potential for addiction. Now, thanks to Hocoma, a leader in the development of robotic and sensor-based medical devices for functional movement therapy, consumers have a new way to improve and sustain low back health in the comfort of their own home.
Today, Hocoma introduces Valedo®—rated one of the Top 30 devices in the wearable healthcare market by Soreon Research and a 2015 CES Innovation Awards Honoree—to the U.S. market. Valedo is the first personal medical device for the low back that combines physical sensors with sophisticated, yet intuitive software. Valedo transforms biomechanical exercises developed by physical therapy professionals into fun, interactive games on a user’s iPad or iPhone. Unlike wearable technologies that simply track steps and heart rate, or gaming devices that are camera-based, Valedo’s sensors detect and respond to micro movements, ensuring that each exercise is tailored to the user and done correctly. Collectively, Valedo’s games guide users through a complete series of movements that take place in virtual “worlds” and are designed, over time, to improve movement awareness for increased stability and balance, restore motion to vertebral joints, and redevelop deep muscles for enhanced strength, all of which can help back pain sufferers achieve sustained back health.
“For the millions of Americans who suffer from back pain, the lack of effective, long-term treatment options can become discouraging. With Valedo, users are motivated not only to get moving and stay on track with exercises that deliver functional movement therapy for back pain, but also to improve their own performance in the virtual game,” said Frank Menzler, executive vice president of Hocoma in the United States. “The result is a groundbreaking advancement with the potential to extend the benefits of professional physical therapy into the home and effectively change the way we deal with back pain starting today.”
Based on Valedo®Motion, a back therapy system currently used in professional rehabilitation centers, Valedo brings back pain therapy with a focus on medical goals to a consumer-friendly, game-like environment that can be done at home or on the go. Intended for consumers looking for a way to continue the benefits of professional physical therapy at home, as well as for those interested in an alternative, self-help tool, Valedo marries the latest in Bluetooth, 3D gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer technologies and highly evolved algorithms. The system is compatible with the iPad 3 and above, iPhone 5 and above and all versions of the iPad mini; it will also be available for Android and Windows devices later in 2015. The Valedo app is available for free download on the Apple App Store and all new exercises, games and software updates are pushed to users automatically and free of charge.
Valedo works in three simple steps:
- Download and start the free Valedo app on an iPad or iPhone.
- Place the Valedo sensors on the breast bone and lower back. The sensors automatically calibrate a user’s movements with the Valedo app to begin the session.
- Exercise. Follow the path or match the actions of the on-screen avatar, which guides users through precise, therapeutic movements. A daily training routine of 20 minutes is recommended.
Key Valedo Features:
- Motivating back exercises—Valedo offers 17 unique movements incorporated into 45 therapeutic and medically beneficial exercises that challenge users to move their trunk or hips/pelvis in fine, controlled and isolated ways. When a user successfully completes an exercise, Valedo unlocks the next “world” and the next set of guided movements, which collectively help to restore motion to joints and redevelop deep muscles for enhanced movement awareness, mobility, stability, flexibility, balance and strength.
- Incorrect movement registration—Valedo sensors monitor each nuanced movement and, in real-time, the software responds to inform users if they are performing exercises incorrectly and guides them towards the correct movement.
- Performance tracking—Valedo’s reporting tools track the accuracy, precision, smoothness and success of each movement in each level; users can generate a report that tracks progress over time and provides visibility and insight into areas for improvement that they then can review with a physician or physical therapist.
- Healthy competition for family, friends—Valedo allows up to four user profiles on each device and users have the option to share their status and progress on social media channels like Facebook.
Pricing and Availability
Starting today, Valedo is available for purchase at www.valedotherapy.com for $359. Valedo is listed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Hocoma was set up in 2000 as a spin-off of the Swiss University Hospital Balgrist. The company currently employs more than 170 people at its headquarters in Volketswil near Zurich (Switzerland) and at its subsidiaries in the US, Singapore and Slovenia. Hocoma is the global market leader for developing, manufacturing and marketing of robotic and sensor based devices for functional movement therapy. Therapy solutions support the treatment of neurological patients with movement disorders caused by stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or other neurological diseases and injuries as well as low back pain patients. The product range features devices for intensive gait therapy (Lokomat®), functional therapy of the upper extremities (Armeo®), patient mobilization and use in early rehabilitation programs (Erigo®), as well as functional movement therapy for lower back pain (Valedo®) at home and at the therapist. Hocoma products are applied successfully in clinics and research institutes worldwide. The medical technology company has received many technology and entrepreneur awards, including the “Swiss Technology Award” and the “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Hocoma generated a turnover of more than 30 million CHF in 2013. Dr. Gery Colombo is the CEO of Hocoma AG.