Swedish KTH Royal Institute of Technology teamed up with industry partners to develop Mollii, an elastic body suit designed to help treat people with brain damage. The suit, which is being launched by KTH spin-off Inerventions, is outfitted with electrodes which send electrical stimulation to the body, easing the pain associated with tension and spasms, and increasing mobility. The idea for Mollii was based on transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which uses low-voltage electrodes placed on affected areas to disrupt the pain signals that would normally be sent to the brain. Mollii is made of standard swimsuit material, with 58 electrodes on the inside of the garment connected by conductive elastic. The electrodes can target up to 42 muscles, depending on patient needs and they’re powered by control box that hangs around the waist.
The suit has been given CE Mark approval, and all participants in initial studies noted decreased pain. The patient simply wears the suit a few hours at a time, three times a week, and improvements are seen for up to two days after each session. The ease with which patients can be treated is a stark contrast to other treatment options, including surgery and injections of strong neurotoxin medication. Currently, Mollii is available through the Swedish healthcare system, but Inervations is conducting further studies and hopes to launch in the US, Japan, and the rest of Europe soon. It costs €5,600 ($7,600) and growing patients can move up to larger garments as necessary.