NextStep Robotics, developer of robotic therapy to help treat foot drop, receives $600,000 in funding



NextStep Robotics Inc., the developer of a personalized robotic therapy to help treat foot drop in recovering stroke patients, has announced that it received $600,000 during its second funding round. 

With this round of funding, NextStep says that it will be able to move from prototyping and development to manufacturing and sales.

NextStep Robotics is based on intellectual property licensed from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). With more than a decade of research behind it, the robotic therapy is the “first effective treatment option for foot drop,” the company says, as it helps stroke survivors and others regain mobility using clinically proven rehabilitation training.

With its adaptive software that provides an assist-as-needed approach, NextStep Robotics allows clinics to offer personalized robotics therapy. The robot is worn by the patient, and it is designed to be operated by any trained clinical staff, which frees up therapists to provide hands-on treatment of patients’ other rehabilitation needs.

The robot has a unique training protocol, NextStep says, which is used to promote motor learning in just a few weeks. From a clinical standpoint, the robot serves as a training device instead of an assistive device.

According to NextStep, one robot placed in a clinic can provide training to as many as 100 patients per year.

Initially, the device will be placed in clinics as an exercise device. NextStep says that the training protocol provides enough of an effect to evoke neuromotor reeducation in its users, which allows higher reimbursement rates than the usual gait training or therapeutic exercise.

“The leadership team at NextStep Robotics continues to make great progress in the development of its personalized robotics therapy,” says Phil Robilotto, associate vice president in the UMB Office of Technology Transfer and director of UM Ventures, Baltimore.  

“UM Ventures is delighted to support the company by participating in the most recent round of financing.”