By Kalwinder Kaur
DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) received Ekso, a wearable robot. This institute is United States’ 8th rehabilitation hospital to receive this unique wearable, robotic exoskeleton. This offering enables individuals with lower extremity paralysis or other wheel-chair users.
Ekso is manufactured by Ekso Bionics. This battery-powered, simple bionic device will be attached to the user's clothing. The balance and body positioning of patients, when integrated to the device’s in-built sensors and motors will enable the user to move around with reciprocal gait.
The final development and testing of Ekso has been carried out by RIM. Among ten rehabilitation centers in the U.S., RIM was selected by Ekso Bionics to perform investigational trials besides assisting in ongoing research. RIM's Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery’s physical therapists will employ Ekso for the preliminary treatment of spinal cord injury.
RIM’s President, William H. Restum says that the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery were in demand of innovative and advanced technologies and therapeutic treatments for spinal cord injury patients, for better post-surgical improvement and more promising life quality. Ekso is a potential offering through which the functional recovery of the patients can be improved extensively.
During early 2012, around six RIM patients including one quadriplegic and five paraplegics were involved in an investigational trial of Ekso at RIM. Ekso was found to be effective for all the six patients.
Ekso Bionics intends marketing a unit for personal use during late 2014.