ReWalk - FDA approved exoskeleton for spinal cord injuries
Tom Spendlove posted on August 28, 2014 |
ReWalk Robotics has developed an exoskeleton for spinal cord injury patients to use during rehab, an...

Dr. Amit Goffer was inspired to create technology that would help paraplegics to walk again. Goffer is quadriplegic and has worked for more than a decade on ReWalk as a  walking exoskeleton for people with lower limb disabilities and spinal cord injuries.

This video is largely a commercial for the ReWalk system but David's story is compelling and seeing the device in use is inspiring. Several videos exist of people walking with the ReWalk unit, including a video of President Obama seeing a ReWalk demonstration and a great CBC News story.

ReWalk was featured today on NPR in a story from WBUR Boston. The company has been in the news recently due to the FDA approval to market the device. Braces support the legs and upper body while a backpack holds the power supply and the controllers for the unit.

Movement in the hip, knee and ankle joints is aided by motors while sensors give the user's position. A wristband remote control is controlled by the user and tells the unit to stand up, walk or sit back down. Crutches are still required to walk and also assist the user in standing.

ReWalk doesn't work for people with every spinal cord injury. Some injury classifications can use it to walk while others can only use the device for rehabilitation activities. The system works with users between 160 and 190 centimeters in height and weighing under 100 kilograms.

This is really a leap forward for mobility technology. The FDA approved ReWalk under its de novo classification as a low-to-moderate risk device that is novel and the first of its kind. To see the device in action is incredible but reading about the steps that the FDA takes to test a product is also interesting.

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