Ep 102 - Gait Training with the iStride and Dr. Kyle Reed

I learned about the iStride device when the initial research paper came out last year. It made a big difference in subjects’ ability to walk. I thought you’d like to learn more about it. I know I did. So I reached out to the developer Dr. Kyle Reed. We talk about it, how it works, and the research in this episode.

So what’s the principle behind how it works?

When we start walking after stroke, it’s liberating. As we get more and more mobile we start to compensate for our affected side by walking differently. But that can cause problems later on. And our skills can top out.

At a certain point to get better, we need to break those new bad habits. The iStride is a therapeutic device that you wear on your unaffected foot. It teaches you to rely more on your affected leg to ultimately improve your walking ability years after stroke.


Dr. Kyle Reed looks at the camera in an outdoors heasdshot

Dr. Kyle B. Reed is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF).  His rehabilitation research focuses on low-cost methods to restore abilities in individuals with asymmetric impairments, such as from stroke or unilateral amputations. 

His research on Haptics focuses on thermal responses of the skin, coordinated motions, and human-robot interaction.  He has over 100 publications and has 18 patents issued or pending with three patents licensed for commercialization.  He is an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Haptics, an IEEE Senior Member, a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors, and was a 2019 Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar. 

He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Florida High Tech Corridor, the Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation, the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association, and industry.  Prior to USF, he was a post-doctoral scholar at Johns Hopkins University.  He received his Ph.D. and master’s from Northwestern University and his B.S. from the University of Tennessee, all in Engineering.

iStride in Action


Here’s the pilot study that initially caught my attention:


There are couple more studies coming out soon showing the benefits of the iStride. Check out the abstracts here:



Always be skeptical of new approaches to recovery, but if it’s not harmful, and it doesn’t interfere with other treatments in terms of time or money, those new treatments may be a great choice.

Thoughts on the Protests

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong negatively impacted people’s treatment because they couldn’t get to clinics. The recent anti-police brutality / Black Lives Matter protests in the US also likely disrupted people’s care, which was already disrupted by COVID-19. It’s okay to acknowledge that.

But that doesn’t mean the protests are bad or need to stop. Every group that is fighting for its rights also has people with disabilities in its ranks. With all the upheaval, now is not the time for people with disabilities to stay silent. Now is the time to speak up even louder.

Disability doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t be part of the fight — it just means we may have a different role.

Hack of the Week

An umbrella stand or tall vase is a great place to store canes by the door. It can also be a great place to swap from an indoor to an outdoor cane a you venture into the larger world.

And as long as you have to use a cane, make it awesome.

You can find hundreds of great options on Etsy:https://www.etsy.com/search?q=walking%20cane&ref=auto-1&as_prefix=walk

I’ve also acquired most of mine through FashionableCanes.com.


Reed Lab


Dr. Kyle Reed’s email address


iStride Device


Moterum Technologies


Clinical Trials


iStride video by USF


USF Article about iStride


iStride on NBC DFW


Pilot Study


Abstract from the AHA Journal


Abstract from the APTA Conference


Constraint Induced Movement Therapy from Physiopedia


Amy Bastion at the Kennedy Kreiger Institute


Fashionable Canes


Canes on Etsy


Where do we go from here?

  • Check out the video above to see the iStride in action, and visit http://Moterum.com to learn more about participating in studies.
  • Share this episode with 3 people you know by giving them the link http://strokecast.com/istride
  • Lift your literal or metaphorical voice high and don’t be ignored in this time of social change
  • Don’t get best…get better

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast

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