ReWalk is a motorized exoskeleton suit that enables patients with lower limb disabilities, including complete paralysis, to independently engage in ambulatory activities, including standing, walking and in some cases climbing stairs.
ReWalk consists of a lightweight wearable brace support suit, motorized joints, rechargeable batteries, an array of sensors and a computer-based control system. Worn around the legs, chest and back, it fits closely to the body on top of everyday clothing. Patient stability during ambulation is provided by concurrent use of crutches.
How does ReWalk work?
ReWalk contains intricate motion sensors that measure the patient’s upper body movements and shifts in gravity. These signals are processed by an onboard computer system that initiates and maintains walking in the desired direction at the appropriate speed.
Which patients can use ReWalk?
ReWalk can be used by patients with walking impairments caused by spinal cord injuries. Individuals with brain injury and multiple sclerosis may also benefit from training with ReWalk, but first must be evaluated by a MossRehab physiatrist to assess upper limb use and degree of tone and spasticity.
What are the proposed benefits of ReWalk?
By keeping patients upright on a daily basis and exercising their paralyzed limbs, ReWalk may alleviate many of the health problems associated with long-term immobility, including osteoporosis, pressure sores, and problems with the urinary, respiratory, cardiovascular and digestive systems. ReWalk is also an alternative to other walking assistive and standing devices. Likewise, patients who use ReWalk can reduce their dependence on powered wheelchairs and the oversized vehicles required to transport them.
Who developed ReWalk?
ReWalk was designed by Argo Medical Technologies, a medical device company located in Haifa, Israel. Visit their web site to view a video of a paraplegic patient regaining mobility with ReWalk.
Is the device approved for use in the United States?
MossRehab launched the first clinical trials in the U.S. for ReWalk in 2009. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of ReWalk in the clinical setting in late 2010. ReWalk-I (I for institutional) is available for purchase by rehabilitation facilities in the U.S. and Europe. Based upon patient use, improvements are continually being made to ReWalk-I. The FDA approved ReWalk for use outside of the hospital in July 2014.
When will ReWalk be available for purchase?
Which other technologies does MossRehab utilize in the course of treatment?