Functional Electrical Stimulation, or FES, is a method of externally controlling muscles when signals from the brain can no longer control movement. This can happen after a spinal cord injury, stroke or neurological disease such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
A range of FES devices have been developed by Professor Ian Swain and his colleagues in Odstock Medical Ltd (OML) and Salisbury Hospital. Well over 10,000 have been sold in 18 countries through OML, which is the first NHS commercial company in England.
BU’s fundamental engineering research, including that of PhD students working in Salisbury, has been a key factor in developing these intelligent systems, which have improved the quality of life for patients with neurological disabilities across the globe.