Sunday, April 13, 2014

Face2Face™ gives hope to patients with Bell's palsy

Guest Blogger: Stephen Kinsey, MBA is the Director of MedStar Inventor Services at the MedStar Institute for Innovation.

As Director of MedStar Inventor Services, I meet many creative people who are passionate about their inventions. Jodi and Gincy are two of the most passionate, enthusiastic and fun inventors I work with.


Jodi Barth, PT and Gincy Stezar, PTA care for patients suffering from idiopathic facial palsy. The condition, also known as Bell’s palsy, paralyzes half of the patient’s face virtually overnight; but patients who exercise their facial muscles recover more quickly. Jodi and Gincy noticed that their patients were emotionally distressed while practicing facial exercises with a mirror. The psychological impact of seeing a newly asymmetric face leads patients to avoid looking in mirrors and, as a result, avoiding exercise. To address the emotional impact of exercising with a mirror, Jodi and Gincy invented a book with mirrors on both inside covers called Mirror Book which allows patients to focus on the goal of a symmetric face. The patient positions the book such that the healthy side of the face is reflected in one mirror while the other mirror is aligned with the nose along the sagittal plane. The Mirror Book creates the illusion of a symmetric, “normal” face by reflecting the unaffected side onto the sagittal mirror. Using this technique, patients become enthusiastic and hopeful as they perform their exercises.

Knowing that this product needed to reach more patients, Jodi and Gincy contacted MedStar Inventor Services. In evaluating the commercial potential for the product, the MedStar Institute for Innovation team decided to commercialize not only the Mirror Book, but also develop additional technologies based on this concept that will track the patient’s progress and allow virtual off line interaction with Jodi and Gincy through instructional videos.

See www.mirrorbooktherapy.com for more details.

To learn more about MedStar Inventor Services, please go to mi2.org/inventor-services.

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