Lower limb amputees use prostheses that do not restore sensory feedback during walking. Because of this, they risk falls, thus losing confidence in the prosthesis and overusing the healthy leg, which causes increased fatigue, and reduced mobility. Because of these reasons, users abandon the prosthesis, with consequent low reinsertion into the working society. MYLEG is a unique device that restores sensory feedback to amputees by gently stimulating with pulses of current the skin of their remaining leg. MYLEG is an add-on to commercially available prostheses. The system is constituted by a sensorized insole that is added to the prosthesis, an external controller that transduces this information for a stimulating system constituted by portable stimulators and electrodes embedded in a portable belt. The optimal placement of the electrodes on the skin and the algorithms that control the stimulation makes the elicited sensations very clear for the amputee, and thus the overall system easy to use.
The long-term vision of the MYLEG project is to improve mobility and prosthesis cognitive integration, by restoring sensory feedback, in people with leg amputation where they matter the most to them, during their daily life. There are no commercial devices similar to the one proposed in MYLEG. The prosthesis restoring sensory feedback will enable users to avoid falls, to increase confidence in the device, which will reduce counterbalancing movements, and fatigue. The MYLEG neuroprosthesis would enable the National Health Systems to save up to €330’000 per amputee, connected to a sedentary lifestyle following prosthesis abandonment. The sensory feedback system will represent a new product in the prosthetics market (valued €1.2 billion in 2019), allowing its further expansion.