Variable Assist is a new feature that was first introduced in Europe, in May 2013, at the European Stroke Conference. This new feature allows clinicians to augment their patients’ strength and provides the ability to strategically target deficient aspects of their gait. This means weak patients can now get up in a stable environment sooner, while helping them achieve optimal gait patterns and high step dosage. It engages patients by challenging their abilities; balancing the physical effort they exert with the amount of help they need to achieve a more normalized gait.
Variable Assist works by allowing individuals with any amount of lower extremity strength to contribute their own power -- from either leg -- to achieve walking over ground. Based on the therapeutic goals, therapists now have the option to assign a specific amount of power contribution to augment their patients’ efforts, or to allow the Ekso suit to dynamically adjust to their needs in real-time.