SaeboFlex, a mechanical orthotic device for people with neurological impairments, following injury or illness, to retrain their hand's grasp function, by Saebo, 2017
First introduced in 2002, the Saeboflex is a mechanical device to help people re-learn how to release their grip after an injury or illness. The springs on the Saeboflex gradually pull back the fingers, while the person using it, imagines their hand opening. By doing repetitive movements, like dropping a ball into a box a 100 times a day, muscle memory and new neural pathways are hopefully re-built, new neural pathways are built.
Saebo was founded in 2001 by two American occupational therapists, Henry Hoffmann and John Farrell. Their company’s ethos work is based on the principle of exceeding expectation for people with neurological impairments following illness and injury. Their mission is: “No Plateau in Sight” referring to their belief that people only plateau in terms of function as their treatment options run out. After an injury, many people normally ‘plateau’ in terms of their function after 6-12 months. With the Saeboflex, some people who are 20 years after their illness or injury, showed some improvement. The Saeboflex was first introduced in 2002 and was the company’s first product. Working at first with a Saebo trained practitioner, users then continue their therapy at home.