May 2012

Rehab center demos new exoskeleton that helps paralyzed patients walk again

In April, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, CA, debuted the ReWalk exoskeleton robot, which can help people with lower-limb paralysis walk again.

As the crowd of spinal cord injury patients, their families, and press watched, 36-year-old Agnes Fejerdy rose from her wheelchair and walked.

Seven years ago, her spinal cord was injured at the T-11 level, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

Rancho is the first hospital in the western US to utilize the ReWalk, which is currently approved by the FDA for hospital use only. An Israeli company, Argo Medical Technologies, developed and distributes the exo­skeleton.

Rancho is expected to receive two of the devices in June and, in July, will begin a 10-person clinical trial with the ReWalk. For more information about Rancho and its foundation, visit www.rancho.org.

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