Paralyzed People in EU Can Take Robotic Exoskeletons Home

September 5, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

With the European Union allowing customers to take power suits or robotic exoskeletons home for people with severe walking impairments, products like ReWalk are getting more popular albeit their hefty price tag.

ReWalk, is a powered exoskeleton which offer user-initiated mobility in patients who have paralyzed limbs or lower limb disabilities due to spinal injuries.

It has grabbed media attention when Clare Lomas, a paralyzed British Woman took part in the London Marathon with the help of a power suit.

She is now the first person to take the robotic exoskeleton to her home which helped her walk the 26.2 mile race in 17 days.

According to Lomas, the powered exoskeleton helped her to “to stand, walk, and talk to my friends and family eye-to-eye”. Lomas is now planning a bicycle trip from London to Paris next year with a special bike which will stimulate the leg to push down the pedal.

The ReWalk exoskeleton actually features brace supports for legs which are controlled by computers. It also consists of a set of motion sensors which detects any shift in balance indicating that the user is taking a step.

EU has allowed the customers to take the product home this week onwards. In the US, they are still restricted to rehabilitation centers.

This is considered as a good alternative to the wheel chair in paralyzed patients who suffer from health conditions caused by continuous immobility.

However, it is very expensive with its price of 45,000 pounds or roughly $71,000. However, it will help avoid the long term costs related to the treatment of paralyzed patients.

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