MSC published by ReWalk Robotics
The authors offer a number of key conclusions:
- 76% of patients studied were able to ambulate without any physical assistance from another human being following completion of the exoskeleton training program.
- Powered exoskeleton systems allow patients a safe means of ambulation conducive to prolonged use.
- Routine use of the exoskeleton system is known to yield health benefits, including improvement in muscle spasticity and bowel movement regularity.
The authors expand upon the conclusions about health benefits for the user of powered exoskeleton systems in their report:
“In addition, several other benefits may accrue to SCI patients as a result of intermittent standing and habitual ambulating activity with the powered exoskeleton, including increasing upper body muscular fitness, minimizing declines in bone mineral density by periodic exposure to gravitational and muscular loading forces, improved circulatory response, and countering the independent health risks associated with prolonged sitting. Indeed, clinically relevant improvements were found in self-reports for muscle spasticity and bowel movement regularity following exoskeleton training. A potential focus for future research would be to assess the long-term health and cost benefits associated with chronic powered exoskeleton use. Assuming regular exoskeleton use sufficient to yield the aforementioned health benefits, it is likely that the initial expense of providing personal exoskeletons for home use to individuals with SCI (typically $70,000–$100,000) may be offset by savings attributable to prevention of physical maladies and associated costs in SCI patients, which may ultimately result in overall savings to the health care system.”