Frost & Sullivan Acknowledges Bioness’ Preeminence in the North American Functional Electrical Stimulation Market for Walking
Bioness’ L300 System is the only FES device for foot drop that is in a perpetual state of adaptation
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — November 18, 2015 — Based on its recent analysis of the functional electrical stimulation (FES) market for walking, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Bioness, Inc. with the 2015 North America Frost & Sullivan Award for Market Leadership for capturing more than 75 percent of the market share. With its highly sophisticated L300® Systems, Bioness helps those suffering from lower extremity paralysis to have “mobility, confidence, and independence.” The L300® Systems provide wearers with a more natural gait and promotes long-term recovery.
Bioness created the L300® Systems specifically to treat a condition known as foot drop, defined as the weakness of ankle and toe dorsiflexion. Patients exhibit an inability or impaired ability to raise and clear the toes or foot when walking. The NESS L300® System creates a more natural gait by leveraging three wireless components:
- The ergonomic leg cuff with patented and proprietary locating system, worn on the lower leg (below the knee), sending pulses to activate nerves that then stimulate the muscles.
- The Intelli-Sense Gait Sensor®, worn in the shoe, sends a wireless signal to the leg cuff after detecting the position of the foot. With Bioness’ proprietary algorithm, variable pressure under the foot can be monitored to determine the optimal moment to stimulate the leg nerve for muscle contraction.
- The wireless control unit, which can be worn around the neck, communicates with the leg cuff and gait sensor to allow easy stimulation adjustment on the go.
The NESS L300® Plus System adds a thigh cuff component to the L300® System to provide better knee control and stability for patients who also experience thigh weakness. The thigh cuff’s functions are similar to the leg cuff’s functions, but it is worn either on the front or the back of the thigh, depending upon the muscles that need to be stimulated.
“The effectiveness of Bioness’ systems is largely the result of its large-sized electrodes, which are textile based, asymmetrically shaped and approximately 60 percent bigger than the average sensor,” said Frost & Sullivan Director Tonya Fowler. “As they are approximately 88 square centimeters in diameter, they help to disperse the electric current being sent through the skin and reduce the pain that may be caused by smaller electrodes.”
Furthermore, the larger electrodes decrease the set-up time from an average of 15 minutes to 10 minutes, as their broader coverage lowers the need for location precision. In peer solutions, the electrodes are placed using hydro-gel that not only sticks, but blocks air from coming into contact with the skin. Bioness’ electrodes are made of cloth, which translates to a more comfortable fit and less skin irritation.
Bioness’ proprietary algorithm is unique because it adapts to the patient, rather than having the patient adapt to the system. Other FES systems are dichotomous, meaning they are either on or off. The gait detection algorithm in the L300® System, on the other hand, adjusts to the wearer’s gait speed, footwear, and even the terrain being covered. It automatically makes gait adjustments when the wearer moves between surfaces, such as from concrete to grass.
“Bioness’ FES systems are used in approximately 90 percent of the top US rehabilitation facilities,” observed Fowler. “Not content with this success, the company seeks to make a long-term impact on patients’ quality of life and move beyond the rehabilitation facility environment, to the at-home use market. Therefore, it is working on developing easy-to-use systems that do not require trained handlers.”
Through its advanced L300® systems, Bioness has captured the top spot in the North American FES market for walking, and is richly deserving of the 2015 Frost & Sullivan Award for Market Leadership. Additionally, as Bioness recognizes that insurance reimbursements are limited, it provides financing options such as 0 percent financing for up to 18 months or fixed financing for up to 60 months.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
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