Exoskeleton Approved by FDA

A few months ago, we shared with you the story of a woman named Amanda Boxtel, her journey to never give up and her dreams to walk again.

Her dreams were made possible with the assistance of technology.

Now, that same dream can become a reality for many other people living with spinal cord injuries (SCI).

Introducing ReWalk

ReWalk was designed by Israeli inventor, Dr. Amit Goffer, and is intended to help people walk with the assistance of a motorized exoskeleton.

ReWalk consists of a full-length body device made of metal plates and is specially fit to each user to be worn over the legs, back and torso. The motorized device uses innovative technology that allows the user wearing the device to sit, stand, and even walk.

The exoskeleton is equipped with tilt sensors that assist with bending and sitting motions, and small remote controls worn on the users wrists assist with other commands while the device is learning the user’s habits.

New Advances for ReWalk

It was recently announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the ReWalk device as one designed specifically to help people regain their ability to walk again.

What does this mean for people with SCI?

The device is now approved for the masses. So, the roughly 200,000 Americans with SCI can use these devices at the rehabilitation centers, or even purchase one for their own daily use.

But, the device is rather costly (currently it’s approximately $69,000) and it doesn’t act as a perfect mobility solution for everyone suffering with SCI.

For now, though, there’s the hope that technology will continue to advance, and other devices like this will be more readily available to the SCI community. And, with continuing research there’s always the possibility that handicapped vans will no longer be necessary purchases for people with SCI, because it will be treatable.

Have you seen one of these exoskeletons in person? What do you think of this technology? Do you plan to get one for yourself? Why or why not?

(image via ReWalk.com)

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