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FDA approves new exo-suit for stroke survivors struggling with mobility

Mobility issues are often the aftermath of a stroke. Many stroke victims are left with lower-limb mobility challenges. Going through physical therapy is already a major accomplishment.

Now, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration has approved a new device that can be combined with other forms of therapy to help a stroke survivor regain mobility.

ReWalk Robotics has created a soft exo-suit specially made for people who have had strokes. It joins other high-tech products that promote health, such as the Apple Watch, which can actually let people know if they are having a heart attack or notify emergency services if they fall.

How the soft exo-suit works

ReWalk Robotics is a leading manufacturer of robotic medical devices for people with lower-limb disabilities. The company created the ReStore soft exo-suit system that will soon be available to rehabilitation centers across the country. Cleared by the FDA, the ReStore is the only soft exo-suit intended for use in the treatment of stroke survivors.

ReStore is made up of a soft, garment-like design that connects to a lightweight waist pack and mechanical cables. The cables help lift a patient’s affected leg in synchronized timing with their natural walking pattern.

For therapists, it also provides physical therapists with extensive data during gait training by using real-time analytics.

 

Related: Kim’s Take: Could your smartphone save your life?

 

ReStore was tested last year during a multi-center clinical study at five of the country’s leading rehabilitation centers. The data was submitted to the FDA and ReWalk expects to publish the results of the clinical study later this year.

“By training the patient walking pattern in a more correct way, the expectation is that the brain will re-learn and better restore the walking function lost after a stroke,” said Dr. Alberto Esquenazi, chief medical officer of Moss Rehab. Esquenazi was one of the investigators in the multi-center trial.

The ReStore device will cost clinics $28,900 with leasing options available. It joins other high-tech products that promote health, such as the Apple Watch that can monitor your heart health.

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