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The Stride Management Assist (SMA®) device consist in a portable robotic exoskeleton designed for gait rehabilitation and training by repetition of walking patterns with automated regular gait cycles. Used for adult population with gait disorders of neurological or musculoskeletal origin that require rehabilitation. The objective of this work is to assess its efficacy and safety.
This technology was identified by the early Awareness and Alert System, “SINTESIS-new technologies” of AETS-ISCIII. An early assessment of the technology was conducted. The searched databases were: Pubmed, Embase, WOS, Tripdatabase, ClinicalTrials.org and Cochrane Library. Clinical studies using the device published in any language until 10 October 2018 were reviewed.
We found 3 abstracts to congresses and 6 clinical trials that evaluated the use of the device. Outcomes measures among studies included spatiotemporal gait parameters, energy expenditure, muscular activity and functional performance. Five studies consisted in proof-of-concept analysis; 3 studies evaluated the effect of gait training with SMA® compared with conventional therapy alone in individuals after stroke (2 studies) and Parkinson disease (1 study); and 1 before-and-after study assessed the effect of gait training with SMA® in elderly adults. During its use, improvements in spatiotemporal gait parameters were described in 4/5 studies, and 2/5 studies showed less energy expenditure versus 2/5 studies that found no differences. After gait training, 3/4 studies described greater improvements in gait parameters when associated its use. Only one clinical trial collected safety data reporting no adverse events.
The SMA® device allows to increase the efficiency and parameters of the march during its use. The assistance in the stride might have an impact on health by facilitating the recovery of the gait; however, further research is needed to determine the feasibility in the latter case since comparative studies with conventional therapy are limited.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by alterations in the intellectual, social, communication, and behavioral capabilities of an individual, and is rarely detected in children before 24 months of age. Early diagnosis and intervention may be more effective at a younger age. Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) of 6-month old infants may be able to identify brain connection patterns related to at least one of the characteristics of autism, which normally appear at 24 months of age, by using a mathematical model to analyze the neuroimaging data.
Clinical studies published up to December 2018 that used fcMRI to detect autism in infants were reviewed. The literature databases searched included PubMed, Web of Science, the Trip Database, DynaMed, the Cochrane Library, the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, and ClinicalTrials.gov. Early assessments of fcMRI analysis were identified through the Early Awareness and Alert System of the Agencia de Evaluación de Tecnologías Sanitarias.
Only one prospective study of 59 infants at 6-months of age was retrieved. A fcMRI analysis was performed to identify 2,635 pairs of functional connections from 230 brain regions. The infants were subsequently assessed for autism at 24 months of age using gold standard tests. The functional connections correlated with at least one of the behaviors related to autism evaluated at 24 months of age. Eleven infants (19%) were diagnosed with autism at 24 months. Compared with the gold standard test results, the predictive model achieved the following: sensitivity 0.82 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.52 - 0.95); specificity 1.00 (95% CI: 0.93–1.00); positive predictive value 1.00 (95% CI: 0.70–1.00); negative predictive value 0.96 (95% CI: 0.87–0.99); and negative likelihood ratio 0.18 (95% CI: 0.05–0.64). Adverse effects were not reported in the study.
The fcMRI analysis could help in early detection of autism and the development of preventive interventions. However, the evidence is sparse and more well-designed studies are needed.
Mitral regurgitation (MR) is the most prevalent heart valve condition in Western countries. Open-heart mitral valve reconstruction is the conventional surgical treatment for MR, whereby the valve's cords are replaced with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene cords. Novel devices have introduced minimally invasive alternatives, such as transapical beating-heart valve repair. Among these alternatives, the Harpoon™ Mitral Valve Repair System (Edwards Lifesciences LLC) may have potential advantages (a smaller diameter valve introducer to minimize bleeding and a different anchoring mechanism). This study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of Harpoon in minimally invasive mitral valve surgery.
An early assessment of the technology was conducted by reviewing relevant literature from the following databases: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, the Trip Database, the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, ClinicalTrials.gov, the Cochrane Library, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Relevant clinical studies published up to 30 January 2018 were included.
Only two publications, by the same research group, were included: an observational study of 11 patients and the prospective, nonrandomized TRACER trial (n = 30). During the procedure, MR was reduced from severe to none in 73 to 86 percent of patients and severe to mild in 14 to 27 percent. At one month, MR was rated as mild or lower in 82 to 89 percent of patients. At six months, MR had worsened to moderate or severe in 16 percent of patients from the TRACER trial. Safety issues within 30 days (18% to 27% of patients) included intraoperative conversion to open surgery, reoperation, pleural effusion, hemopericardium, and atrial fibrillation. There were no intra- or postoperative deaths.
Current evidence on the Harpoon device is scarce. Although published studies showed improvement in MR in most patients, there are still issues regarding safety, lack of long-term results, comparability with other procedures, and costs. While promising, further research is required before recommending routine use of this technology.
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