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May 20, 2016 3:12 am

Israeli Creator of Revolutionary System for Mobility-Impaired Patients Teams Up With Harvard to Develop Improved Model

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A patient uses the ReWalk Robotics exoskeleton system. Photo: ReWalk Robotics.

A patient uses the ReWalk Robotics exoskeleton system. Photo: ReWalk Robotics.

The Israeli company behind a revolutionary system that enables people with mobility limitations to walk announced it is teaming up with a prestigious US university to develop the next generation of “exoskeletons.”

ReWalk Robotics revealed this week that it is partnering with Harvard University’s Wyss Institute to create an improved model.

“There is a great need in the healthcare system for lightweight, lower-cost wearable exoskeleton designs to support stroke patients, individuals diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and senior citizens who require mechanical mobility assistance. This collaboration will help create the next generation of exoskeleton systems, making life-changing technology available to millions of consumers across a host of patient populations,” said Larry Jasinski, CEO of ReWalk, in a statement.

ReWalk, founded in 2001, has made it its mission to improve the quality of life of individuals who suffer from spinal-cord injuries and lower-limb disabilities. According to ReWalk, the soft suit prototypes developed by the Wyss Institute “transmit power to key joints of the legs with cable technologies powered with software and mechanics that are similar to the technologies used in the ReWalk system. The cables are connected to fabric-based designs that attach to the legs and foot, thus lending the name ‘soft suit.’”

According to a case study on the benefits of ReWalk’s exoskeleton system, published by the International Spinal Cord Society in January, after just six months of use, patients experienced enhanced motor skills and better bladder and bowel functioning, among other benefits.

ReWalk one of a small handful of FDA-approved exoskeleton systems currently on the market. The ReWalk soft suit exoskeleton is expected to be made available to the public before 2019.

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