Assessing the Value of Improving Upper Arm Mobility with an External Device


A medical device start-up had developed an assistive device to help those with upper-limb neuromuscular conditions or injuries.  It is common for those with conditions like multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy to lose strength and functioning in their arms, which can limit their ability to perform activities of daily living and negatively impact their social and emotional well-being. Additionally, these patients require significant care which either imposes a burden on family members or incurs significant costs.

Empowering individuals by improving upper arm mobility

This organization believes strongly that the external assist device they had created would help individuals with these conditions maintain independence, improve emotional health, reduce caregiver burden, and extend their ability to live at home. However, compiling this information from published literature is a daunting task, given the volume of information that is available. Often, there’s value in simply organizing what’s known into a relevant summary.

Synthesizing and Summarizing Relevant Information

I performed a thorough literature search to identify relevant research on the impact of limitations in mobility across a variety of conditions. After abstracting the information, I created a summary to paint a picture of the common costs of care in this population and the benefits increased upper arm mobility would likely produce for these individuals. The synthesized literature clearly demonstrated that for many conditions, disease progression results in a loss of mobility, greater dependence on others, and negative psycho-social effects, and that addressing mobility can improve functioning and well-being and have a positive impact on care utilization as well as the financial and emotional strain on family members.

At the end of this project, this organization had a summary of specific research that demonstrated the value associated with their innovative device that they could share with key stakeholders or use to help guide future decisions regarding the development and marketing of their product.