Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc., a robotic exoskeleton company, today announced new findings from a feasibility study conducted by Kessler Foundation, which reported that eight stroke patients who were prescribed gait training during inpatient rehabilitation training, safely increased their cadence (steps per minute) after six weeks of rehabilitation with the assistance of the Ekso™ GT robotic exoskeleton.
The patients were gait trained using the Ekso device for 25% of their total physical therapy time. Average cadence with the Ekso robotic exoskeleton was 17.1 at initial session, which increased to 27.67 by the final session. The study "Gait Training of Stroke Patients using a Robotic Exoskeleton during Inpatient Rehabilitation: Feasibility Study" was presented by Karen J. Nolan, PhD, research scientist at Kessler Foundation during the International Workshop of Wearable Robotics in Baiona, Pontevedra, Spain from September 14-19.
The Ekso GT is a uniquely designed wearable exoskeleton robotic suit enabling individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness to stand up and walk over ground with a natural, full weight bearing, reciprocal gait. It is also the only exoskeleton available for use with stroke patients to help them re-learn proper step patterns and weight shifts using a functionally based platform.
"We observed several beneficial outcomes from training with the Ekso," said Dr. Nolan, the principal investigator of the study. "When wearing the device, there was increased knee flexion and voluntary muscle activation. All of this evidence is demonstrating that the Ekso GT can provide intensive motor practice for stroke gait rehabilitation."
According to the study, the Ekso GT proved to be a safe device to use for gait training of stroke survivors in an inpatient rehabilitation environment, and in fact, especially benefited individuals who were less functionally independent ambulators. At the conclusion of the study, all patients were standing up longer and taking more steps, with approximate standing and walking times with the Ekso GT of 35 and 18 minutes, respectively, per session.
"It is inspiring to see the positive results of this study and a proud moment for Ekso to be a part of impacting peoples' live for the better," said Nathan Harding, Co-Founder and CEO of Ekso Bionics. "We are proud to work with a world-renowned institution such as Kessler Foundation to demonstrate the ability of our technology to support enhanced rehabilitation gait training for stroke patients."
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.