Market Intel: Exoskeletons Stretch Into Stroke And Mobility Rehab Markets To Ramp Up Growth
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.
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Ekso Bionics says its Ekso GT System is the first robotic exoskeleton to gain an indication to help patients with spinal-cord injuries resulting from stroke to stand up and walk.