ReWalk Robotics Announces Insurance Reimbursement for Police Officer Wounded in the Line of Duty
“Robocop” Officer Jeremy Romero is the First Police Officer in the U.S. to Receive a Personal Exoskeleton System
Albuquerque, NM — March 29, 2015 — Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today the first reimbursement for a personal exoskeleton system by a private insurer for the law enforcement community. The New Mexico Self-Insurers Fund (NMSIF) has approved reimbursement and paid for a ReWalk system for one of its beneficiaries—a New Mexico police officer who was injured while on duty in January 2014.
Officer Jeremy Romero, a 34 year-old from Corrales, New Mexico was injured early last year in a car accident. Romero was pursuing suspects in a stolen vehicle when he crashed his patrol vehicle into a telephone pole. Romero sustained a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Officer Romero has served on the police force for 13 years, and began his career in law enforcement as a corrections officer. He recently completed his training with the ReWalk exoskeleton system. Romero hopes to return to the force a patrol officer. Many in his community and who have met him in his training consider him a real-life Robocop.
“Jeremy has shown a tremendous desire to walk again since shortly after his accident”, said Ed Zendel, Risk Services Director for the New Mexico Municipal League. “His positive attitude and work ethic were a motivating factor in our decision to purchase the ReWalk System for him and to hopefully allow him to return to work in the future. We believe that returning injured workers to gainful employment improves their chances of recovery over the long term.”
“I am grateful to NMSIF for providing me a ReWalk system of my own to use every day,” said Officer Romero. “Being able to stand and walk again, to look people in the eye, is incredible. I cannot wait to go for walks with my wife and son, to wear my ReWalk system to work. This is truly life changing for me,” he added.
The reimbursement by the New Mexico Self-Insurers Fund marks one the first Workers’ Compensation reimbursements for an exoskeleton system in the law enforcement community, as well as one of the first private insurer reimbursements in the United States. NMSIF is administered by the New Mexico Municipal League.
ReWalk has received several private reimbursements in the first months of 2015 alone. And in June 2014, the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in Bronx, NY became the first insurer in the U.S. to provide reimbursement for a ReWalk system to a Vietnam veteran.
“We could not be happier to see Officer Romero receive his ReWalk system,” said ReWalk CEO Larry Jasinski. “There is incredible momentum in the insurance industry to provide reimbursement for exoskeleton systems of eligible candidates across the U.S. and around the world. We believe this is just the beginning of a critical trend of health care coverage policies for exoskeleton technology.”
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk. The system provides user-initiated mobility through the integration of a wearable brace support, a computer-based control system and motion sensors. The system allows independent, controlled walking while mimicking the natural gait patterns of the legs. ReWalk is the only exoskeleton system cleared by the FDA for both personal use as well as use in a rehabilitation setting in the United States. And with TGA approval, ReWalk becomes the sole TGA approved exoskeleton system in Australia.
ReWalk was developed by Dr. Amit Goffer, an Israeli inventor who became quadriplegic after an ATV accident in 1997. It was through his own personal experience in utilizing mobility devices for people with spinal cord injury that Dr. Goffer developed the ReWalk.
About ReWalk Robotics Ltd.
ReWalk Robotics (formerly Argo Medical Technologies) develops, manufactures and markets wearable robotic exoskeletons for people with lower limb disabilities, such as paraplegia. ReWalk’s mission is to fundamentally change the health and life experiences of individuals with spinal cord injury. ReWalk is proud to offer the only FDA cleared exoskeleton systems in the United States, for rehab and personal use respectively. Founded in 2001, ReWalk Robotics is a global company with headquarters in the US, Germany, and Israel. For more information on ReWalk Robotics and the ReWalk Systems, please visit www.rewalk.com/de.