Coapt, Chicago, has been awarded a $2.3 million grant by the Department of Defense (DOD) to develop virtual reality- and hardware-based therapies to help wounded veterans ease or eliminate pain related to limb loss.
The grant is part of DOD’s Restoring Warfighters with Neuromusculoskeletal Injuries Research Award (RESTORE) and is the ninth federally funded research grant awarded to Coapt.
“Phantom limb pain is a serious and persistent challenge for many upper- and lower-limb amputees, and new, technology-based therapies have incredible promise,” said Blair Lock, co-founder, and CEO of Coapt. “Traditional mirror therapies, in which an amputee tries to move her phantom limb by watching her intact limb in a mirror, allow the brain to feel and see the limb, but typically only offer short-term pain relief.
“Preliminary work has shown that VR-based, actuated therapy can manage pain more effectively and have lasting effects. This grant will allow us to further study this therapy and bring to market a solution for those suffering from phantom limb pain in a way that also happens to be engaging.”
During the four-year grant period, Coapt says it plans to study the effectiveness of this therapy, continue to enhance its technology, and work to create a commercially viable product that will benefit civilians and veterans with upper- and lower-limb amputations.