Patients with spinal cord injuries are able to walk again with the latest generation of Argo Medical Technologies’ ReWalk Rehabilitation 2.0 system.
The new 2.0 system exoskeleton is designed to make it easier to treat several patients each day, the company explained in an online communiqué.
The ReWalk creators say that the new system has state-of-the-art software that makes it much more user friendly for beginners. The new range of sizes means that it is suitable for more users, compared to the previous model.
Below are some of the highlights of the ReWalk Rehabilitation 2.0:
- Rapid Exchange – a simpler process of sizing for individual users with a new sizing scale and a simple “click” that tells the user the joints are aligned, making the whole process of adjustment much faster and simpler.
- One Device Fits All – the new version fits a wider range of heights. Doctors and health care professionals can adjust the unit easily, according to the patient’s height. It is suitable for people from 160cm (5ft 3ins) to 190cm (6ft 3ins) in height.
- Gait Mode for Beginners – with its new software, patients find it much easier to learn the process of taking their first steps using the ReWalk
A close-to-walking experience
Larry Jasinski, CEO, Argo Medical Technologies, said:
“I am very excited to launch this new generation of exoskeleton technology. We have learned from the everyday use by clinicians and the experience of their patients and believe as a company it is essential we continue to enhance this technology to meet the needs of those working with it.
The ReWalk Rehabilitation 2.0 offers an experience that is very close to natural walking and this new model will improve the learning curve to allow ReWalkers to quickly gain comfort as they begin to walk independently.”
With the ReWalk system, the user can exercise the legs and body, something especially beneficial for people in wheelchairs who have limited options for physical activity.
Two ReWalk Models
The company currently has two ReWalk models:
- The ReWalk Personal – this is available in Europe and is awaiting an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) review in the USA. It is designed for everyday use in a wide range of environments. The creators say it can be used at work, home or other locations and functions outdoors on a variety of surfaces and terrains.
The ReWalk Personal can stand, sit, the user can turn and even go up and down stairs with it. The batteries that power the device are designed to last all day and are recharged during the user’s sleeping hours.
- ReWalk Rehabilitation – this is now available in the USA, Europe and Israel. It is designed for the clinical rehabilitation environment. According to the company “The experience gained has provided supporting clinical data and knowledge regarding the system’s performance and training requirements. Training with ReWalk Rehabilitation allows walking, standing, sitting and the capacity to ascend/descend stairs in the rehab center environment. It provides a unique means of exercise and therapy. It also allows someone to evaluate their capacity for using a system for home use in the future.”
Argo Medical Technologies added “Both models are designed to provide a customized user experience with on-board computers and motion sensors that restore self-initiated walking without needing tethers or switches to begin movement.”
Knee and hip movements are achieved via motorized legs that function using patented technology.
By altering the patient’s center of gravity, the ReWalk is able to help the user move and assume a natural gait, as well as a “functional walking speed”. The system senses a forward tilt by the upper body, which triggers the device to take a forward step. With repeated shifts by the body, a sequence of steps should occur, i.e. natural and efficient walking.
Sgt. Theresa Hannigan, U.S. Army Retired and ReWalk user, said:
“Training in the ReWalk has changed my life in a way I did not believe possible after I became paralyzed. When I use the ReWalk I regain my independence; I have been able to walk a 1 mile road race, and stand up hug my friends and family.”