ReWalk Robotics Ltd. (d.b.a. Argo Medical Technologies in Germany) announced today that a major German insurance company is the first to reimburse a ReWalk system for Personal use. ReWalk Robotics has been working with insurers across the globe on reimbursement policies for its exoskeleton technology.
"ReWalk is a revolutionary product that is changing people's lives. This announcement is a significant development for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) who wish to own an exoskeleton system, and a major milestone for our company. We are thrilled to see our efforts to secure reimbursement for ReWalk exoskeleton systems with insurance providers coming to fruition," said Larry Jasinski, CEO of ReWalk Robotics. "We believe this favorable decision by one of the largest German insurance companies is a sign of progress in developing standard reimbursement policies for exoskeleton technology for those with spinal cord injuries around the world."
ReWalk™ is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with SCI to stand upright and walk. The system 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 simulating the natural gait patterns of the legs. In addition to the ability to stand and walk independently, clinical studies of the ReWalk Rehabilitation system show significant potential physiological benefits. ReWalk is the most used, most studied exoskeleton technology of its kind, with over 400 ReWalkers worldwide.
The German ReWalker who will have his ReWalk Personal system reimbursed by this insurance company has been confined to a wheelchair since a car accident in 1999. The accident caused a complete SCI at the TH8 level, rendering him paraplegic. The ReWalker saw the ReWalk exoskeleton demonstrated at a trade show and contacted the Company to inquire about the product. After successfully completing the required eligibility review, he received the approval for the reimbursement of a ReWalk Personal system. Eligibility for future ReWalkers covered by the insurance company will be assessed on a case by case basis.
"This reimbursement approval by a major German insurer signifies an acknowledgment of the ReWalk Exoskeleton Technology and its benefits for the SCI population in daily use, both at home and in the broader community. While approvals will initially be provided on case-by-case basis, the German health system's pioneering role with this reimbursement demonstrates the growing acceptance of exoskeletons as the next generation medical device for the SCI population," said John Frijters, Vice President of Sales and Business Development in Europe.