Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc announces the expansion of its medical exoskeleton portfolio with an upper extremity rehabilitation device called EksoUE.
The wearable upper body exoskeleton is designed to assist patients with a broad range of upper extremity impairment and aims to provide them with a wider range of motion and increased endurance for rehabilitation sessions of higher dose and intensity, according to a company news release.
Through a collaboration between Ekso Bionics and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the concept of EksoUE was beta-tested by the KATA Design Studio. Together, Ekso Bionics and the KATA team explored the potential for an upper body exoskeleton to assist with different functions and tasks during rehabilitation in a traditional clinical setting, as well as combined with new interactive technologies.
Led by Drs Omar Ahmad, director of KATA, and John W. Krakauer, John C. Malone Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, both in the Department of Neurology, the pilot studies also explored EksoUE being integrated with a unique therapeutic neuro-animated game that is in testing for early stroke recovery.
Combined, this immersive new type of therapy aims to engage patients in more diverse and complex motor movements by increasing active range of motion and reducing patient fatigue.
During the development stage, Burke Neurological Institute provided patient and clinician feedback on the device. EksoUE was tested primarily with stroke patients yet has applications for various upper extremity impairments.
“We worked with a full range of stroke patients to trial the benefits of EksoUE — from those who had limited range of motion to those with mild impairment but limited endurance,” says Tomoko Kitago, MD, lab director of the Human Motor Recovery Laboratory at Burke Neurological Institute, in the release.
“With the device, our patients experienced a better range of motion and increased ability to complete tasks during therapy sessions, allowing them to actively participate in longer and more productive sessions.”
The wearable upper body exoskeleton is put on similar to a jacket, secured at the waist, and on the arms and wrists. Lift assistance is provided by passive mechanisms located on the arms and does not require any battery power. EksoUE is registered with the FDA as a class I medical device.
“As a pioneer in exoskeleton technology with extensive intellectual property, we are dedicated to applying our knowledge to develop new solutions that help our customers. Our latest innovation is an upper body exoskeleton for medical rehabilitation,” Jack Peurach, CEO and president of Ekso Bionics, comments in the release.
“We believe this is the first wearable device of its kind to provide upper extremity support for rehabilitation use and are proud to expand our medical portfolio with this advancement.”
EksoUE will first be made available to select existing customers through a limited release, with plans to make it commercially available in the US and Europe by end of year, according to the company.
[Source: Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc]