Besides the freedom this device affords, I was particularly interested in the ancillary health benefits. (see area in bold, 3rd paragraph) -dg
The Israeli-based Company Argo Medical Technologies has developed a device that enables people with lower limb disabilities to stand, walk, and even climb stairs. The device nick named “ReWalk” is suitable for anyone with functioning hands, arms, and shoulders.
Such active participation in mobility is both a significant health and emotional benefit for wheelchair users, who are able to restore some element of control over their mobility. Specifically, the inventors say the usage of ReWalk could decrease both the risk and severity of some of the most common health issues that often face wheelchair users – such as problems with the urinary, respiratory, cardiovascular, and digestive systems, as well as osteoporosis, pressure sores, and other afflictions. “By maintaining users upright on a daily basis, and exercising even paralyzed limbs in the course of movement, ReWalk alleviates many of the health-related problems associated with long-term wheelchair use. In addition to relieving suffering, this has a real impact on healthcare costs – cutting yearly expenses almost in half and enabling both insurers and individuals to redirect funds to other avenues” – say the scientists.
ReWalk users are required to have a healthy cardiovascular system and bone density in addition to being able to freely use their hands and shoulders for walking with the crutches – the inventors say the device will certainly require a physician approval.
Although ReWalk’s pricing hasn’t been set so far, the inventors say they are targeting for an annual consumer price “comparable with typical average annual expenses of people confined to wheelchairs.” According to the company, the adoption of ReWalk by both private customers and institutions will result in significant cost reductions, as it will make redundant such appliances as standing devices, stair and bed lifts, and other mobility assistance apparatuses. “ReWalk users don’t require expensive powered wheelchairs – or the oversize vehicles and devices required to handle them. With ReWalk, users require only minimal additional mobility assistance – saving tens of thousands of dollars yearly” – said the inventors.
More information on ReWalk, including a video demonstrating the device, can be found at the company’s official website.