Bionics is engineering inspired by biological methods and systems found in nature. In medicine, bionics is used for replacing or amplifying organs or other body parts by mechanical versions. Bionics was a new breakthrough for medicine, from the bionic ear, silicon retina to artificial hearts.
Ekso Bionics was found in 2005 in the USA. They develop powered exoskeleton bionic devices. It is like a suit, a wearable robot that helps paralyzed people to stand and walk again. There are approximately 40,000 people in the UK living with paralysis.
EksoGT is the first exoskeleton that has been cleared by the FDA for stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation. It is available in over 260+ certified rehabilitation centers in 30 countries. As of December 2018, more than 2000 patients are participating in 80 investigator-led clinical studies. To date, EksoGT has helped patients take 100 million steps. It is the most widely-studied exoskeleton for stroke rehabilitation.
EksoGT helps to improve the functional balance, walking distance and gaiting speed outside of the device. It fits patients under 220 pounds and between 5′ and 6’4″. It is the only exoskeleton that has a SmartAssistTM software which helps to customize motor support strength for various impairment levels, from full assistance to patient-initiated movement. This is beneficial for stroke patients especially. The pre-ambularoty tools include a suite of programs that help patients balance, weight shift, and step in place before walking. Sensors and software continuously monitor and regulate leg movement to minimize compensatory gait patterns, meanwhile the data like walking time, distance and average speed is being captured and securely saved to the cloud for easier documentation. Based on each legs exercise session feedback, it sets training targets and modifies the levels of assistance. The last advantage of the EksoGT structure is the posture support, it helps patients bear only their own weight with proper postural alignment. Thanks to that clinicians can maximize the treatment time.
Ekso Bionics is the only exoskeleton company to offer technologies that range from helping those with paralysis to stand up and walk, to enhancing human capabilities on job sites across the globe.
EksoGT is an outstanding addition to a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Besides its physical impact, it gives to a patient a confidence to believe in future and a hope for freedom. It is like an imaginative form of hope, that can’t be served to the patient in any other way. They are here, and they are changing lives.