Tech-In-Motion| Incredible Bionic Suits Return To Patients The Ability To Stand Up And Walk Again
The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth — Thich Nhat Hanh
Forty-five years ago, three brave astronauts launched into space with the goal of becoming the first to walk on the moon. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” said Neil Armstrong as he became the first human to scuff the surface of the moon with his foot.
To many of us, walking is no more than a daily activity. We easily take it for granted, and sometimes we’re just so lazy to walk. But there are thousands of people who never thought they’d walk again. And there are millions of people who might not be able to walk because of their medical issues.
For some people, to stand and walk is a big dream!
Thanks to the game-changing technology developed by ReWalk Robotics and Ekso Bionics, that dream is now a reality. Both companies have developed bionic suits that give people with lower limb disabilities the ability to stand up and walk again.
Bionic suit is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk. “This revolutionary product will have an immediate, life-changing impact on individuals with spinal cord injuries. For the first time, individuals with paraplegia will be able to take home this exoskeleton technology, use it every day and maximize on the physiological and psychological benefits we have observed in clinical trials. This is truly the beginning of “ReWalking” as a daily reality in the U.S.,” said Larry Jasinski, CEO of ReWalk Robotics.
ReWalk provides user-initiated mobility through the integration of a wearable brace support, a computer-based control system and motion sensors. The system allows independent, controlled walking while mimicking the natural gait patterns of the legs, similar to that of an able-bodied person. In addition to the ability to stand and walk independently, clinical studies of the ReWalk Rehabilitation system show significant health benefits to the users, on both a physiological and psychological level.
Study data of the ReWalk system indicates potential improvements in cardiovascular health, loss of fat tissue, building of lean muscle mass, and improved bowel function. Feedback from ReWalk users supports these potential benefits and others, such as better pain management, fewer medications, and potentially reduced hospitalizations.
The company offers two products: ReWalk Personal and the ReWalk Rehabilitation wearable robotic systems. The ReWalk Personal system, which is designed for everyday use by individuals at home and in their communities, is custom-fit for each user. It provides the support to a range of environments such as in the house, at work, at social events, indoor activities, or when the user walks on different surfaces or terrains. This and other equipment provide a new way to travel lightly. The ReWalk Rehabilitation system is used in the clinical rehabilitation environment, where it provides a valuable means and therapy as well as a training base for individuals to be certified, enabling them to purchase a Personal system.
With Ekso’s bionic suits, walking is achieved by the user’s weight shifts to activate sensors in the device which initiate steps. Battery-powered motors drive the legs, replacing deficient neuromuscular function. During your walking sessions, Ekso Pulse automatically gathers and transmits statistics and device information. Data can be retrieved through your secure web server to view, filter and export.
Originally Berkeley Bionics, Ekso Bionics was founded in Berkeley, California in 2005. Since inception Ekso Bionics has forged partnership with world-class institutions like UC Berkeley, received research grants from the Department of Defense and licensed technology to the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
“I see this as a milestone for people in my same situation who will now have access to this technology — to experience walking again, and all of the health benefits that come with ReWalking,” said Derek Herrera, a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, is also a paraplegic trained on the ReWalk Personal System.
These inventions are beyond the purpose to stand and walk. It brings back the humanity by giving the patients the opportunity to look someone in the eyes, to hug and to be hugged.
On March 11th, 2015, CEO larry Jasinski and CFO Kevin Hershberger of ReWalk Robotics will present at the Barclays Global Healthcare Conference as follows:
Time: 1:35 p.m. EST
Location: Loews Miami Beach Hotel
The presentation will be webcast live at: www.rewalk.com, under the Investor Section.
I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back — Abraham Lincoln
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