On Monday (22), the Government of São Paulo authorized a collaboration agreement between the Lucy Montoro Network, french startup Wandercraft and the Brazilian Paralympic Center for scientific and technological research involving robotic exoskeletons to support the rehabilitation of patients with paraplegia. Governor Tarcísio de Freitas endorsed this partnership in celebration of the 15th anniversary of one of the largest public systems in the country for rehabilitating patients with physical and motor disabilities.
“These are research and initiatives that will greatly enhance the quality of life for many people. Just imagine, individuals will come here to experience walking again. They will engage their bodies, which will start functioning better, and this will improve brain function and self-esteem. They will leave here as different people, welcomed in an environment that is truly priceless,” said the governor.
“The Government of São Paulo is committed to investing whatever it takes to bring this experience to more people and propel the Lucy Montoro Network even further. We have a great responsibility and are fully aware of our challenges,” emphasized Tarcísio.
The ceremony was attended by state secretaries Eleuses Paiva (Health), Marcos da Costa (Rights of People with Disabilities), and Gilberto Kassab (Government and Institutional Relations), as well as the chief secretary of the Military House and coordinator of the State’s Civil Defense, Colonel Hengel Ricardo Pereira, Senator Mara Gabrilli, former Governor José Serra, President of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Hospital das Clínicas at USP, Linamara Rizzo Battistella, and President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, Mizael Conrado. Additionally, state and municipal authorities, parliamentarians, representatives of the medical community, and members of civil society were present.
This partnership will enable the development of studies and assessments on the use of exoskeletons to assist patients undergoing rehabilitation. The equipment incorporates a system that controls the user’s center of gravity to provide better balance and can be programmed to achieve various objectives, such as sitting, standing, walking forward, backward, sideways, and even going up and down stairs.
Another exciting development is the signing of a cooperation agreement with InovaHC and the companies Atos Brasil and Quantics4All for the development of brain biomarkers based on quantum computing. These biomarkers are measurable biological indicators that enable the diagnosis and quantification of sensitization in patients with chronic pain, thereby facilitating more precise and efficient treatment.
Quantum computers allow the evaluation and superimposition of properties from multiple distinct biological signals, enabling the identification of behavioral changes in the physiology of each patient. The integrated analysis of data beyond biomarkers contributes to the ongoing effort to understand the mechanism of central pain sensitization, which is one of the major challenges in this medical field.
In addition to these advancements, the 15th anniversary celebration of the Lucy Montoro Network also included the launch of the “Walking Club: Longevity and Functionality” program. This program aims to develop dedicated spaces for maintaining the functional conditions of patients with spinal cord injuries.
The Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Lucy Montoro in Vila Mariana, located in the capital city, is renowned for providing exceptional care to people with disabilities and debilitating diseases. The facility houses the first robotics and neuromodulation laboratory dedicated to rehabilitation in Brazil.
Established in 2008 by the Government of São Paulo, the network offers over 100,000 monthly services across its 20 operational units in Greater São Paulo, the countryside, and the coast. The services encompass rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities or potentially disabling conditions, provided by physiatrists, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and social workers.