After suffering from a spinal cord injury or stroke, patients often struggle to learn to walk again. It can take months or even years of physical therapy before these patients stabilize their gait enough to be independently mobile.
Our client created a therapeutic exoskeleton that provides highly individualized gait therapy for spinal cord injury and stroke recovery. Rapidly adjustable hardware and customizable software make the device a powerful gait therapy solution.
Taazaa’s challenge was to improve upon the iOS mobile app and portal that controls the exoskeleton and records critical data about a patient’s therapy. Clinicians use the software to adjust the exoskeleton to suit each patient’s unique health condition. Once a therapy session concludes, the app generates a detailed report for the clinician.
Because the device could not be transported, our software development team had to build, test, and debug the app without ever being in the same room as the device. Adding to the challenge was a 10-hour difference between time zones.
Our team worked extended hours to overcome these challenges, especially during the testing phase.
The design for the HIPAA-compliant solution consists of two parts: the iOS app that controls the exoskeleton, and the portal through which the app downloads and stores session data.
After assessing the scope of work, Taazaa’s software engineers recommended the tech stack that the developers ultimately used to build the product.
The solution’s tech stack includes Angular 13, NodeJS, and MongoDB on the portal side, and Realm Swift, Alamofire, and Firebase on the iOS app side. AWS Cognito and an MVVM architecture were also used.
The iOS application connects to and controls the exoskeleton via Bluetooth. It can stream session data to the portal if connected to the internet; if not, it stores the session data locally and downloads the data when an internet connection becomes available.
The app has online, offline, and sync modes. It gives the user the option not to save patient data to the server, and it also provides a patient consent form within the app.
Using the iOS application, the therapist can customize the exoskeleton’s settings to the patient. They can set the right or left leg lift threshold, the right or left knee flex angle, the right or left hip flex threshold, and so forth. The clinician controls these settings using a simple degree-wheel interface.
The app tracks the patient’s activity while wearing the exoskeleton, including the number of steps taken, the number and type of falls that occur, and other analytical data. The app saves the data to the server for access via the portal.
The portal automatically sends a report with all tracked data to the appropriate physician, who can download and email it to the patient.
The clinician can choose from a menu of session activities in the app. They can also add patient information, such as height, weight, pathology, hip size, upper leg size, and more. The app can also set the strength of audio and haptic feedback.
The new solution makes the exoskeleton easier to use for both the therapist and the patient. In addition to the basic functionality and controls, the client offers a broader range of therapeutic options for an additional fee.
Taazaa’s team continues to support and maintain both the app and the portal for the client.