Ekso Bionics Announces a New Generation of Robotic Exoskeleton - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Published on December 16, 2013

Ekso Bionics Announces a New Generation of Robotic Exoskeleton

Ekso GT Provides New Advancements for Gait Training and Rehabilitation for Survivors of Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury

RICHMOND, Calif. – Ekso Bionics™ today announced the first delivery of Ekso GT™, a robotic exoskeleton which enables individuals with lower extremity paralysis or weakness to stand and walk. Ekso GT introduces new advancements designed to make it easier for clinicians to provide therapy to a wide variety of patients, as well as provides new opportunities to explore therapeutic interventions, particularly for patients with some preservation of motor ability such as those who have experienced a stroke. The first device was delivered to US News’ #1 ranked hospital in rehabilitation, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).

Ekso GT is the next generation of Ekso™; a wearable bionic suit which enables individuals with lower extremity paralysis to walk over ground with a fully weight bearing, reciprocal gait. Battery-powered motors drive the legs and replace deficient neuromuscular function to either or both legs. Technological advancements in the newest model of Ekso further optimize the device as a functional-based, rehabilitative tool for hospitals and clinics serving patients with various forms of paralysis due to neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury or disease, traumatic brain injury and more.

“This is our fourth product in the evolution of Ekso technology in less than two years, demonstrating not only how quickly the technology is advancing, but how rapidly the clinical community is adopting it into their rehab programs,” said Ekso Bionics chief executive officer, Nathan Harding. “We’re witnessing an exciting new approach to neurorehabilitation.”

The first Ekso GT was delivered to RIC and this is their second Ekso. It will be used to study post-stroke gait training and rehabilitation under a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) funded grant. RIC and Ekso Bionics will collaborate and share data under a newly signed research agreement.

“The results we’ve seen using the previous Ekso among our stroke and spinal cord injured patients have demonstrated we have every reason to embrace and explore this technology further,” said RIC’s vice president, research, W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD. “ This is an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of this incredibly innovative technology helping to improve outcomes for our patients.”

Mechanical advancements in Ekso GT include; easier, faster adjustment capability between patients, releasable hip abduction and thigh rotation to provide patients with appropriate strength and motor function more freedom, adjustable foot ankle stiffness and angle enable a more stable gait, and the new composite foot design encourages improved weight shifts. In addition, the Ekso GT’s software hosts several new advancements, such as a feature for turning in place, and the ability to adjust software settings while patients are walking.

Ekso can be found in leading rehabilitation clinics across North America, Europe, and Africa. To learn more about the new Ekso GT, please visit our website at www.eksobionics.com.

About Ekso Bionics

Ekso Bionics – headquartered in Richmond, California with offices in London, UK - is pioneering the field of robotic exoskeletons to augment human strength, endurance and mobility. We are committed to applying the latest technology and engineering to help people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable. Contact: Allison Sojka, Director of Marketing Communications, Phone: 510-846-0301

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the nation’s top-ranked provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world. Ranked #1 by both U.S. News and World Report and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, RIC holds an unparalleled market distinction.

With a record eight multi-year, multi-million dollar federal research designations awarded and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Education’s National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the areas of spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, neurological rehabilitation, outcomes research, bionic medicine/rehabilitation engineering research, and pediatric orthopedics, RIC operates the largest rehabilitation research enterprise in the world.

RIC also operates its 182-bed, flagship hospital in downtown Chicago, as well as a network of more than 40 sites of care distributed throughout the Midwest, through which it delivers inpatient, day rehabilitation, and outpatient services.

Founded in 1954, RIC has been designated the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. RIC sets the standard of care in the post-acute market through its innovative applied research and discovery programs, particularly in the areas of neuroscience, bionic medicine, musculoskeletal medicine and technology transfer. For more information, go to www.ric.org.

Journalists contact: mediarelations@ric.org, 312-238-6016.

All others contact: webmaster@ric.org.