The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued a revision to its national policy on exoskeleton medical device training and procurement for qualifying veterans with spinal cord injury, ReWalk Robotics Inc announces.

The updated policy includes further guidance on the evaluation process and expands access to training program locations among the VA network and private rehabilitation centers through the VA’s Veterans Choice Program.

According to the update, the evaluation process will now have all veterans flow through one of 24 designated spinal cord injury VA centers (SCI/D). Once a veteran is determined to be qualified for training and procurement of his or her own exoskeleton system, the individual may be allowed to pursue training in one of three ways: at the applicable SCI/D hub center, at a qualified VA hospital designated by the VA’s “hub & spoke” program, or at a qualified private rehabilitation center through the VA’s Veterans Choice Program—a program through which Veterans can receive care from a community provider paid for by the VA, explains a media release from ReWalk Robotics Ltd.

“This revised policy is a great step forward that will potentially help many paralyzed veterans who simply seek to walk again,” says ReWalk CEO Larry Jasinski, in the release.

“These significant SOP updates mean that numerous injured veterans who have expressed an interest in obtaining a ReWalk, but have not been able to participate due to a lack of availability in their area, can now have access. We are pleased to see the VA build upon the SOP, taking into account the Department’s own extensive research and its ongoing national trial.”

As a result of the revised policy, there are now 142 ReWalk certified private and VA SCI/D training centers across the US potentially available to train veterans to use a ReWalk exoskeleton. Furthermore, the network of VA SCI/D spoke sites may now be eligible to conduct training and provide additional opportunity, per the release.

[Source(s): ReWalk Robotics Inc, PR Newswire]