Icelanders Help the Paralyzed to Walk Skip to content

Icelanders Help the Paralyzed to Walk

The American company Ekso Bionics, whose CEO is the Icelander Eythór Bender, will present its first product, Exoskeleton, which enables the paralyzed to walk, to a rehabilitation center in Atlanta this week.

elegs_youtube

From a demonstration of the Exoskeleton (or eLEGS) on YouTube.

Distribution to other rehabilitation centers will follow in December and it is assumed that the equipment can be sold to individuals who are in rehabilitation under the guidance of specialists around mid-next year, Morgunbladid reports.

Bender has presented the equipment widely in the US as well as in London and Munich in the past months and said that it has a sparked positive response everywhere; it isn’t every day that people who have been tied to a wheelchair for years or even decades can walk again.

The equipment was first presented one year ago and has since undergone massive improvements. It is comprised of extensive braces that are powered by batteries and four motors while movements are controlled by small computers.

Another Icelander, Kristján Tómas Ragnarsson, who is senior physician at the Mount Sinai hospital in New York, has monitored the Exoskeleton’s development closely.

On November 8 he was at the White House submitting a ten-year plan to the US government on rehabilitation following spinal cord injuries.

Ragnarsson pointed out that people who are paralyzed from the waist down or from a higher point on the spine don’t have enough strength in their arms or shoulders to progress in a walker or on crutches to any reasonable extent.

With the Exoskeleton the energy production is mostly transferred from the patient to the equipment, he explained.

Click here to see a demonstration of the Exoskeleton, a.k.a. eLEGS, in a video on YouTube, including an interview with Bender.

ESA

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