Argo ReWalk Exoskeleton Now Ready to Take Home, Around Neighborhood (video)

Argo ReWalk Exoskeleton Now Ready to Take Home, Around Neighborhood

Claire Lomas, a paraplegic woman from Leicestershire in the UK, is making medical history as the world’s first person to use an exoskeleton for daily living around her home. Claire Lomas ReWalk Argo ReWalk Exoskeleton Now Ready to Take Home, Around Neighborhood (video)She proved the capability of the ReWalk system from ARGO Medical (Yokneam Ilit, Israel) by using it to walk a complete marathon and then lighting the Paralympic cauldron in Trafalgar Square.

Until now, the ReWalk was exclusively used in rehabilitation clinics with a therapist spotting the patient and providing constant step-by-step guidance. Now Claire is able to use the device independently, even walking up and down stairs and around the neighborhood. Though the ReWalk is slower on flat surfaces compared to a wheelchair, the psychological benefit of being able to get around house, stand upright and talk to people eye-to-eye is difficult to measure.

According to Larry Jasinski, CEO of Argo Medical, “Years of research and hard work from a very talented team of engineers has made this product possible. We’re looking forward to seeing Claire build on her accomplishments alongside the Cyclone team, whose training is such a key component in ensuring that users get the most from the device. We are officially launching the ReWalk personal use system in the EU with this start in the UK. It’s our aim to get as many individuals as possible walking again, and the launch of the ReWalk will allow customers to use the technology for a range of activities. It truly is the beginning of Rewalking as a part of daily life.”

Israel21C has a video of the ReWalk exoskeleton system, from Argo Medical Technologies, for people with paralyzed legs. We profiled the system back in March, and we thought this video would be interesting to see the device in action:

From Israel21C:

ReWalk comprises a light wearable brace support suit which integrates DC motors at the joint, rechargeable batteries, an array of sensors and a computer-based control system. It fits the body snugly to detect upper body movements, which are used to initiate and maintain the walking process. Wearers also use crutches for stability and safety.

ReWalk is undergoing clinical trials in Israel at the Rehabilitation Hospital at Chaim Sheba Medical Center – Tel Hashomer, with pilots planned for rehab centers in Holland and Italy. A US trial is scheduled to begin in November at the Moss Rehabilitation Center in Philadelphia, after which Argo will apply for FDA regulatory approval.

Argo’s demo video features team member Radi Kioff, a 40-year-old Druze Israeli citizen who was shot in the back while serving in the Israel Defense Forces during the first Lebanon War. Ironically, the man who devised the system that allows Kioff to walk cannot benefit from his own invention. A quadriplegic, Amit Goffer has only partial use of his hands, but not enough to operate the ReWalk.

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Exoskeleton technology leader, ARGO Medical Technologies, along with mobility solutions provider, Cyclone Technologies, announced today that Claire Lomas has become the first person to take home an exoskeleton system for personal use. Claire demonstrated her personal ReWalk™ at the annual International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) meeting held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Center.

“I am very excited to take the ReWalk home and incorporate it in my daily life”

32 year-old paraplegic Claire from Leicestershire, was injured in 2007 during a horse riding accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. She achieved a significant milestone when she became the first person in the world to complete the London Marathon in a bionic suit in April 2012, and raised more than £200,000 for spine injury research. As a result, Claire was chosen to light the celebration cauldron in Trafalgar Square to kick-off the 2012 Paralympics in London.

“I am very excited to take the ReWalk home and incorporate it in my daily life,” said Lomas. “With the help of the ReWalk I am able to stand, walk, talk to my friends and family eye-to-eye, and exercise in a ways that I have not been able to since my injury.”

The new technology, which is manufactured by Argo Medical Technologies and supplied exclusively in the UK by East Yorkshire-based mobility solutions provider, Cyclone Technologies, has seen Claire become the first person in the world to utilise exoskeleton technology at home, and in her everyday life. The ReWalk enables her to stand, ascend and descend stairs and walk indoors and outdoors independently and on a daily basis.

Claire recently completed training at Cyclone’s rehabilitation and training centre using the ReWalk model made specifically for institutional use. This model is currently available in clinics and medical institutions in UK, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain for training and therapy purposes.

Larry Jasinski, CEO of Argo Medical Technologies, said:

“Years of research and hard work from a very talented team of engineers has made this product possible. We’re looking forward to seeing Claire build on her accomplishments alongside the Cyclone team, whose training is such a key component in ensuring that users get the most from the device. We are officially launching the ReWalk personal use system in the EU with this start in the UK. It’s our aim to get as many individuals as possible walking again, and the launch of the ReWalk will allow customers to use the technology for a range of activities. It truly is the beginning of Rewalking as a part of daily life.”

Dave Hawkins, Managing Director of Cyclone Technologies, said:

“What the team at Argo has achieved is truly remarkable, and we’re incredibly pleased to be supplying and training individuals like Claire to use such a revolutionary product, which for the first time ever, will see individuals with lower-limb disabilities using exoskeleton technology in their everyday lives. Since we introduced the institutional model of the ReWalk suit to the UK in May 2011, we’ve been inundated with enquiries from customers wanting to know when they could actually order their own ReWalk device and take it home after completion of their training, and I’m thrilled to say, now they can do exactly that.”

Invented by Israeli entrepreneur and founder of Argo Medical Technologies, Dr Amit Goffer, who became a quadriplegic in 1998, the ReWalk can help individuals with lower-limb disabilities such as paraplegia. It provides individuals with user-initiated mobility through the integration of a light wearable brace support, a computer-based control system and motion sensors.

ARGO Medical Technologies develops, manufactures and markets walk restoration devices for people with lower limb disabilities. The company’s ReWalk™ exoskeleton allows an ambulation and rehabilitation alternative to wheelchair users, enabling people with lower limb disabilities, such as paraplegia, to stand, walk and climb stairs. ARGO is operated by a team of experts in the fields of rehab devices, control and computer sciences with decades of combined experience in R&D, engineering and manufacturing of multidisciplinary systems. The company is assisted by renowned international experts in the fields of medicine, biomedical engineering, robotics and marketing. Founded in 2001 in Northern Israel, ARGO has grown from a small research and development start-up to an international company with headquarters in the US, Germany and Israel. For more information, please visit http://www.argomedtec.com/.

About Cyclone

Cyclone Technologies is a leading manufacturer of bespoke, lightweight wheelchairs, and is the UK’s exclusive supplier of exoskeleton mobility solution, ReWalk. The company is also the UK’s leading Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) therapy specialist. Cyclone is led by an expert team boasting over 100 years of combined experience of life in a wheelchair, providing the company with an unrivalled ability to understand and meet the individual needs of their customers. The company was established in 1989, when founder Stuart Dunne produced Cyclone’s first lightweight wheelchair following a road accident in 1985 which rendered him tetraplegic. Managing Director Dave Hawkins, who is a paraplegic, joined the company in 2007, and Cyclone today boasts a state-of-the-art, purpose-built training facility at its headquarters in Ottringham, East Yorkshire. For more information, please visit www.cyclonemobility.com.

ReWalk™ is an alternative mobility solution to the wheelchair for individuals with severe walking impairments, enabling them to stand, walk, ascend/descent stairs and more.

ReWalk™ is a new realization of the powered exoskeleton concept and provides user-initiated mobility; it consists of a light wearable brace support suit, which integrates actuation motors at the joints, an array of motion sensors, a computer system based on sophisticated control and safety algorithms and tailored rechargeable batteries.

ReWalk™ enables people with lower limb disabilities such as Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and Spina Bifida to carry out routine ambulatory functions. ReWalk™ restores a person’s mobility functions, thus improving both quality of life and physical health. ReWalk™ promises to dramatically reduce the need for physical therapy and re-hospitalization that occur due to immobility-related complications in individuals with severe walking impairments.

ReWalk™ is a man-machine device where the user is actively involved and has control of all mobility functions, through unique control processes. Walking is controlled through subtle changes in center of gravity, stability and safety are secured by use of crutches.

Participation in mobility control comes naturally and intuitively, and brings tangible health and emotional benefits. ReWalk™ is not just a vertical wheelchair – ReWalk™ restores the element of control over mobility so lacking for wheelchair users.

As any wheelchair user can attest, life in a wheelchair carries a hefty healthcare price tag. Serious problems with the urinary, respiratory, cardiovascular and digestive systems are common, as well as osteoporosis, pressure sores and other afflictions.

By maintaining users upright on a daily basis, and exercising even paralyzed limbs in the course of movement, ReWalk™ alleviates many of the health-related problems associated with long-term wheelchair use. In addition to relieving suffering, this has a real impact on healthcare costs – cutting, and enabling both insurers and individuals to redirect funds to other avenues.

Adoption of ReWalk™ by wheelchair users results in significant cost saving at both institutions and private homes. ReWalk™ makes standing devices, stair lifts, bed lifts, and other mobility assistance apparatus redundant. Similarly, ReWalk™ users don’t require expensive powered wheelchairs – or the oversize vehicles and devices required to handle them. With ReWalk™, users require only minimal additional mobility assistance – dramatically increasing independence together with cost saving on a yearly basis.

source : http://www.argomedtec.com/products.asp

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