VA Coverage Decision Propels ReWalk Into $2bn Market With No Competition
This article was originally published in Clinica
A new US Department of Veterans Affairs coverage policy on ReWalk Robotics’ ReWalk Personal exoskeleton system for qualified veterans with spinal cord injuries is an enormous boost for the fledgling company.
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When it comes to helping patients recover from spinal cord injuries and stroke, the use of exoskeletons – a robotic suit that supports a person's weight and helps them move their limbs – is gaining traction by physical therapists in rehabilitation centers and clinical settings. Several exoskeleton companies such as ReWalk, Ekso Bionics and Parker Hannifin are already marketing their own versions of these smart, robotic-assisted body suits in various countries worldwide. Despite facing significant barriers, such as high device cost and lack of reimbursement, recent advances in robotics, microelectronics, battery technologies and product designs are the driving forces behind the continuous innovation in this field. Companies hope the dramatic life-changing impact exoskeletons have today in helping the paralyzed will also have implications for other mobility-challenged individuals, including those living with Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and the elderly.
Digital Surgery, a London-based developer of surgical artificial intelligence, analytics, digital education and training solutions, will join Medtronic’s surgical robotics business within its minimally invasive therapies group.
In this edition of Device Week, Medtech Insight's managing editor Marion Webb talks with deputy editor Reed Miller about his recent story on Abiomed's plan to counter unfavorable studies of its Impella heart pump.
[Editor's note: This article was updated on 14 February 2020 to clarify that Abiomed has invested more than $100m over the past five years in clinical research on the Impella heart pump platform. Abiomed has not committed to spend another $100m on new physician education and communication programs.]