Exoskeleton Enables and Enhances Movement in Physical Therapy Patients
November 26, 2020
Innovative device enables patients with lower extremity paralysis or weakness to stand and walk, while also enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of therapy sessions
UH Clinical Update | November 2020
It looks futuristic – because it is.
The Indego® Therapy exoskeleton is a lower-limb powered device that helps propel patients forward. Specially designed for people with lower extremity paralysis or weakness – such as those with spinal cord injuries or stroke – the Indego Therapy helps make standing and walking possible. This innovative device is available to patients now at UH St. John Health Center in Westlake.
PROPELLING PATIENTS FORWARD
During a therapy session with the exoskeleton, UH St. John physical therapists – who have completed hands-on and virtual training on the device – are able to offer intensive gait therapy. The device includes powerful motors in the hip and knee areas that allow patients with little or no motor function to stand and walk. Similar to a Segway personal transporter, when the patient leans forward, the device responds and helps them begin to walk.
Throughout the physical therapy session, sensors send feedback to the Indego Therapy app, allowing the therapist to note changes in the patient’s gait and stride. Having this information literally at their fingertips on a mobile device allows UH therapists to adjust their session plans and goals in real-time. This provides our patients the most effective, efficient treatment possible.
“In just one session with the Indego Therapy exoskeleton, we’re able to accomplish what may have taken 5-10 sessions without it,” said Pam Lanter, PT, DPT, NCS, Manager, Rehabilitation Services, UH St. John. “The device lessens the burden on both the patient and the therapist.”
AVAILABLE NOW FOR PATIENTS AT UH ST. JOHN HEALTH CENTER IN WESTLAKE
The Indego Therapy exoskeleton is available now for patient use. “We’re thrilled to have begun an ongoing working relationship with Indego here at UH St. John Rehabilitation,” said Pam. “Our therapists are being trained to offer clinic days for people who are considering purchasing a personal exoskeleton device, and we hope, in the near future, to purchase an Indego Therapy device to use with all of our patients.”
Pam continued, saying, “As a board-certified clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy, I am impressed with this technology. I’ve seen first-hand how wheelchair-bound patients react when they are able to stand and walk with the device – it’s awe-inspiring.”
The Indego Therapy device has been developed and assembled locally in Macedonia by the Human Motion & Control division of Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE PH). The VP Head of the division, Achilleas Dorotheou, said, “We are excited about working closely with the team at UH St. John to bring their neuro-rehabilitation capabilities to the next level. At the same time, we will benefit by having a great local clinical partner for the development of new features and offerings for mobility impaired people.”