Software that adapts to a stroke patient’s gait pattern.
P.T. practitioners need to be aware of the patient’s ever-changing gait, gait mechanics, and ability because if a patient puts too much stress on a limb or ankle joint that isn’t quite ready, it can lead to further injury. EksoNR and other robotic exoskeletons solve that by using software to keep tabs on a stroke patient’s capabilities and adjust the assistance accordingly. By wearing an exosuit, even someone with a spinal cord injury could improve immensely in terms of balance, walking speed, or gait quality.
Exosuits are adjustable for the needs of specific joints.
When you think about an exoskeleton, you might be thinking of a rigid structure to be worn over a patient’s body, locking them in. That’s not at all what an exosuit by Ekso is like—in fact, this wearable robot can be adapted to each joint specifically—hip, ankle, knee, and more. Wearing an exosuit probably isn’t as comfortable as throwing on a pair of sweats, but it’s not uncomfortable either. The fact that exosuit technology is this customizable allows physical therapists who are treating spinal cord injuries or working on stroke rehabilitation to treat a specific patient’s needs. That inevitably leads to better outcomes.
Exosuit technology has been widely studied and acclaimed, with 110 studies being either carried out currently or already completed at acclaimed universities. As noted above, these include Harvard University and Boston University, but also the Kessler Foundation, UCLA, and UC Berkeley. Clinical trial results have been excellent, with the vast majority of people reporting an immediate effect and improvement levels that are far and away better than previously witnessed in stroke rehabilitation patients. While the exosuit technology is new, it’s a critical step towards improving stroke survivors’ lives around the United States and, indeed, the world over with its broad applicability.