Thursday, February 10, 2011

Exoskeletons Walking Their Way to Mainstream Medicine

Pictures courtesy of Argo Medical Technologies Ltd.
A new device called ReWalk can help paraplegics stand and walk is scheduled for release in late January of 2011. The device works when people lean forward and move their upper body in different ways.
Commercialized by Argo Medical Technologies Ltd the ReWalk was invented by Israeli entrepreneur Amit Goffer who was himself paralyzed in a car crash in 1997.
The device, 35-pounds, is worn outside of clothing and consists of leg braces. It is outfitted with motion sensors and motorized joints that respond to the changes in upper-body movement. There’s a harness around the patient's waist and shoulders that keep the suit in place. On the device is a backpack that holds the computer mainframe and a rechargeable 3 1/2-hour battery.
ReWalk, which costs about $100,000, is making it’s d├ębut around the same time competitor companies are releasing their exoskeletons. Though it will have stiff competition, ReWalk is expected to break thorough and out shine them all.  This product is said to prevent the costly complications that often arise in people who can't walk, including pressure sores, urinary, digestive, circulatory, and cardiovascular problems.
Those who have tested it say the benefit is more than physical. And after several years of clinical trials in Israel and the United States, units go on sale in January.

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