ASU student creates industry-changing therapy device

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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

An ASU Engineering student has built a device that seeks to provide affordable and quality physical therapy for people with neurological disabilities.

It's called the AmbulAid.

Daniel Campbell, Founder and President of DKtherapeutics, said he identified the need for a more affordable gait training device because of his own experience recovering from a spinal cord injury.

"I paired up with a doctor of physical therapy and we built a device that could attach onto my legs and help me do quality gait training in a walker," said  Campbell.

It is training that can really make a difference in people's lives.

"At its best it (AmbulAid) can induce what's called neuroplasticity where the spine is encouraged to repair itself at the site of injury," said Campbell, adding, "even if you're not one of the the lucky people that sees vast functional returns, there's still a list of guaranteed benefits like improved circulation, muscle mass, bone density, digestive health, skin integrity, on and on."

Campbell explains how his idea came about after breaking his neck five years ago in a wrestling accident.

Initially he said he had access to the best rehab equipment around, including expensive robotic devices for his gait training, but when he moved to Arizona in 2015 that changed.

 "I was in physical therapy and I wasn't getting the same quality of experience that I was accustomed to at another clinic," said Campbell.

"The vast majority of clinics don't have a robotic gait trainer," he said.

It's simply too costly, the devices run from $70,000 on the low end up to $500,000 on the high end.  So with his recovery reversing, he built a solution.

"I think it will accelerate people's recovery, it'll reach more people than before," said Campbell.

He plans to sell the AmbulAid to clinics first at a cost of just under $2000.  Eventually he would like to make them available to the public for home use.

"In the clinic I believe it will raise the quality of someone with a neurological disability therapy, it brings gait training down from an extremely high branch to one that is reachable," he said.

So far, Campbell has been able to raise $41,000 after seeking help from ASU's Venture Devils Program, which helps student entrepreneurs find mentors and investors.

"I don't think I would be where I was today,  I wouldn't even be 15 percent of the way here if it wasn't for ASU," said Campbell.

He's planning to have the devices on the market this summer.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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