ReWalk Robotics has sold its 100th personal exoskeleton, calling it “a major milestone indicating growing adoption of personal use of exoskeletons.” ReWalk has also sold more than 150 exoskeletons to rehabilitation centers.
Calling this a major milestone clearly shows the exoskeleton industry is still in the infancy stages of development, but you need to start somewhere.
“More public and private insurers are willing to procure and reimburse systems, the technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and there is a growing wealth of clinical evidence outlining the benefits of the technology to the health and well-being of the user,” said ReWalk Robotics CEO Larry Jasinski. “We are proud to have passed the 100 personal system mark and continue to work diligently to provide this technology to all eligible users.”
ReWalk’s Personal 6.0 provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury to stand upright and walk. ReWalk is the first exoskeleton system to receive FDA clearance for use in the home as well as in the rehabilitation setting. The Personal 6.0 exoskeleton offers the fastest walking speed (up to 1.6 MPH) and the most precise fit of any ReWalk exoskeleton to date.
“My neurologist told me almost nine years ago that I would never walk again after a debilitating spinal stroke paralyzed me from the waist down,” said Rick Batty, a Madison, WI ReWalker. “From that moment on, my mission in life was to stand and walk again – and ReWalk made that happen. The technology also helped me achieve a dramatic turnaround in my everyday health, increasing my upper-body strength and flexibility, and I continue to experience improvements with regular use.”
In December 2015, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will start covering the cost of ReWalk exoskeleton for eligible paralyzed veterans. The VA policy was the first national coverage policy in the US for qualifying individuals who have suffered spinal cord injuries. The policy provides eligible veterans access to referral and evaluation at all designated ReWalk Training Centers across the country.
And in May 2016, ReWalk partnered with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University to expedite development of Wyss’ lightweight, soft exosuit. This soft exosuit is designed with soft materials woven into a piece of smart clothing and pulled up like a pair of pants. The suit mimics the action of leg muscles and tendons when a person walks, using compact, powerful actuators packaged in a belt to provide assistance to the wearer’s legs.