John Frijters and a user of the exoskeleton; © beta-web/Stöter
Who is best suited for this therapy?
The system is best suited for persons with a complete spinal cord injury or incomplete paraplegia who are no longer able to walk or suffer from limited mobility. You need to have a functional hand since- as already mentioned- an underarm crutch is needed to balance the body. Cognitive function is also essential. The system is not so well suited for persons suffering from traumatic brain injuries combined with a spinal cord injury. What’s more, the patient needs to have stable circulation and normal bone density.
That’s why we offer our customers to try out the system. Whether a training makes sense or not from a medical or therapeutic point of view is not decided until then. There are subsequently hours of practice that offer clues on whether the customer is actually able and willing to use the system. At this point, several health insurance companies pay for the exoskeleton under the umbrella of medical equipment.
Persons with disabilities, in particular, are still critical of exoskeletons. Usually the main reason is that the devices give the impression that mobility can be completely regained again. However, they are only able to accomplish this in a limited number of cases and they are not suitable for every patient. As a manufacturer, how do you approach criticism about exoskeletons?
We want to make it possible for persons to live a more comfortable life and not advertise a miraculous cure. This is why we take a proactive approach and visit trade fairs like the REHACARE for example. Many people are open-minded and curious. This is why we also offer test sessions and tryouts. This way, people can make up their own minds. Many are not aware that they are also doing something good for their health aside from walking upright with the exoskeleton. Upright mobility is so much more than that: it promotes bladder and intestinal function, blood circulation and builds muscles. In other cases, there is less pain which automatically reduces the need to take medicine. However, even though the system is able to do a lot, it can’t do everything. There will always be critical voices. We are very open about it. That’s why trade fairs are also very important to us.
You find the booth of ReWalk Robotics Argo Medical Technologies in hall 04/A05.
More about the ReWalk System at: www.rewalk.com