Stair Function Now Available in the United States!
ReWalk Robotics is proud to announce that after significant regulatory work behind the scenes, we are now able to allow US-based ReWalkers to access the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton’s revolutionary ability to ascend and descend stairs and curbs.
This function has always been a part of our technology’s robust capabilities and has an eight year track record of helping ReWalkers in our international market experience increased accessibility.
The ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton was developed with durability, robust performance and increased access in mind and so this regulatory step is a huge victory. “More Than Walking” has never been more applicable than now!
Why Stairs and Curbs are Essential for Access
A recent retrospective study of ReWalkers offers insight into how well-utilized the stair feature is – the vast majority (94%) of users access the stair function when it’s available. To those individuals who don’t currently have access to stair function in their exoskeleton, almost 80% reported that having that access would result in an increase of the number of places they could access.1
What is the ReWalk Personal 6.0 Exoskeleton?
The ReWalk Personal 6.0 Exoskeleton is the latest edition of our industry disrupting technology, enabling people around the world access to standing, walking and stair/curb navigation in their homes and communities after spinal cord injury.
The ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton is configured specifically to your body to optimize safety, function and comfort. The battery-powered system features a wearable exoskeleton that bears its own weight. Motors at the hip and knee joints and adjustable ankle joints allow users to walk with a natural gait pattern and ReWalkers control the movement of their exoskeleton using buttons worn on the wrist as well as subtle changes in their trunk motion during walking.
Repeated body shifting generates a sequence of steps which mimics a functional, natural gait. Highly customizable ankle joints and software settings allow clinicians to fine tune the gait pattern to be natural and efficient for each individual. The device also has the ability to navigate curbs and stairs using either the wrist-based controls or via buttons conveniently located on the hips.
How the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton Can Help After Spinal Cord Injury
After spinal cord injury, regaining as much independent mobility as possible is the top priority; the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton is revolutionary in its ability to accomplish that goal. The immediate effects on mental health, social inclusion, and overall quality of life derived from being able to stand eye to eye with loved ones and business associates are undeniable.
The ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton allows wheelchair users to access the many aspects of home and the community that we tend to take for granted, including navigating stairs and curbs. Establishing a consistent, at-home functional ambulation program not only allows renewed access to upright functional mobility, but also has been shown to help mitigate the secondary complications associated with chronic spinal cord injury.
These include but are not limited to:
- Bone Density2
- Bowel and Bladder Function3
- Pain Management4
- Body Composition5
- Cardiovascular Function6
Published research has consistently demonstrated the positive effects of consistent exoskeleton-assisted walking on these issues in the spinal cord injured population. It is these effects that ReWalkers report as being the most life changing, often after only their first time up and walking.
ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton Information for Clinicians and Rehabilitation Hospital Administrators
ReWalk Robotics is committed to supporting partnerships with clinicians and rehabilitation institutions from their initial introduction to the technology, all the way through the training and discharge of patients as successful ReWalkers with their own personal exoskeletons to use at home and in their communities.
To this end, ReWalk Robotics has developed rich support programs including:
ReWalk Clinic Day Program
For clinics interested in providing access to the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton technology for their patients with spinal cord injury, we have developed the ReWalk Clinic Day Program. Through this program, ReWalk Robotics provides free screening and referral services for patients in your area with paraplegic spinal cord injury. We also work with clinic support staff to facilitate scheduling for each ReWalk Clinic Day.
Once on-site, ReWalk team members provide the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton and help to configure it for each patient to facilitate one or multiple trials within a single day. The ReWalk team can also provide guidance to navigate the reimbursement process with patients who are determined to be medically eligible.
Read more about our ReWalk Clinic Day program here.
Once an individual obtains a ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton, the ReWalk Clinical Training Team is available to help support local clinicians and their patients through every step of the way – from initial training to graduation day. In addition to providing on-site training and support, the ReWalk Clinical Training Team has also developed a multitude of resources to help clinicians effectively prepare their patients for real world situations and the independence that comes with personal exoskeleton use.
Learn more about ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton Training Resources.
For more information, hear from some members of the ReWalker community as they discuss the elements of their training process that they feel helped them to become the successful exoskeleton users that they are today:
Who is a Candidate for the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton?
The ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton is for individuals with spinal cord injury who want to experience the benefits of regular functional ambulation at home and in their community; the process starts with a conversation between the individual and their medical and clinical teams.
Some prerequisites for use include:
- Hands and shoulders can support crutches or a walker
- Healthy bone density, meaning sufficient bone density according to the judgement of the prescribing physician after clinical examination of the patient – including radiological proof if needed
- Skeleton does not suffer from any fractures
- In general good health
- Height is between 160 cm and 190 cm (5′ 3″ – 6′ 2″)
- Weight does not exceed 100 kg (220 lbs)
- At least 18 years old
Other factors, such as level of injury, standing tolerance and range of motion will be evaluated to ensure safety and appropriateness for functional ambulation in the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton.
If an individual does not meet all of the prerequisites, some candidates have been able to meet additional eligibility criteria through physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and/or medication changes as recommended by their physician and clinical team.
The process for getting a ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton
While every ReWalker follows a slightly different path, read on to learn more about the general process to becoming a ReWalker, or watch the video below:
Step 1: Contact ReWalk Robotics for a No-Cost Screening
Once an individual has talked with their healthcare provider and determined that they are interested in pursuing a ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton, they should reach out to our team to set up a no-cost screening. The Clinical Specialist Team will then provide some additional information about the exoskeleton and ask a few questions to help determine if a personal exoskeleton may be right for them.
If appropriate, a video screening will be arranged to introduce one of the members of our Clinical Team and help further assess eligibility for the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton.
Learn more about the virtual screening process.
Step 2: Prepare for a ReWalk Clinic Day
After the initial screening, ReWalk team members can help work with the individual’s medical team to procure any necessary paperwork or evaluations in preparation for the upcoming ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton trial. Once these pieces are in place, the ReWalk team will work to schedule a clinic day at one of our Certified ReWalk Training Facilities in the area.
Learn more about some of the ways to prepare for a ReWalk trial in the clip below:
Step 3: ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton Trial
On the day of the trial, a ReWalk team member will work with the ReWalk Trained clinicians to help set up the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton, teach basic skills such as how to transfer into the device, adjust the straps, stand, and take some initial steps.
This is a great opportunity for the individual and their family members to see how the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton works and to begin thinking about how it would fit into their daily life.
Step 4: Reimbursement Support
If the individual and their medical team determine that the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton is medically necessary, the ReWalk team can also help to navigate the reimbursement process if needed. Some organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), already have policies in place to help eligible Veterans gain access to personal exoskeleton technology. Personal fundraising options are often also successful and growing in popularity.
In parallel, ReWalk Robotics is at the forefront of driving policy level changes through our work with Medicare in the US and major insurance carriers in Germany to increase market access to personal exoskeleton technology for all eligible individuals with spinal cord injury.
Step 5: Delivery and Training with the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton
Once an individual has been approved for a ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton, the team at ReWalk Robotics will help to arrange for the delivery of their own personal system to the preferred ReWalk Training Facility. During this time the individual will attend outpatient physical therapy visits to be trained both in basic skills (i.e. transferring into the device, standing, balancing, walking through doorways) and advanced skills (i.e. walking outdoors, going up and down ramps, navigating curbs and stairs) to help the individual and a companion of their choice become successful and independent with ReWalking in their home and community.
Want to know more about what to expect during training? Watch the video below to hear from a ReWalker as he shares his experience:
ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton For United States Veterans
“I was at a point where I was just existing… When I saw this thing, it was divine intervention and technology meeting on a path.”
– Gene Laureano, U.S, Veteran
ReWalk Robotics is committed to working with Veterans with spinal cord injury to help them achieve the benefits of regular functional ambulation. We are proud of our strong and longstanding relationship with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs which has resulted in a plethora of published research as well as the establishment of a national policy for the evaluation, training, and procurement of personal exoskeleton systems for all qualifying Veterans.
This policy helps to ensure that eligible Veterans with spinal cord injury (regardless of whether their injury occurred during or after their military service) have access to this life-changing technology, as well as the training and support they need to become successful exoskeleton users at home and in the community. Hear from Veteran Gene Laureano in the video below as he talks about how the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton has impacted his life:
For current device users: ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton software version 4.2 is now available. Please inquire for additional details here.
- Data on file – Steps & Stairs Survey EU 2021
- Karelis, Antony D et al. “Effect on body composition and bone mineral density of walking with a robotic exoskeleton in adults with chronic spinal cord injury.” Journal of rehabilitation medicine vol. 49,1 (2017): 84-87. doi:10.2340/16501977-2173
- Chun, A et al. “Changes in Bowel Function Following Exoskeletal-Assisted Walking in Persons with Spinal Cord Injury: An Observational Pilot Study.” Spinal Cord 58.4 (2020): 459-66.
- Stampacchia, Giulia, et al. “Walking with a powered robotic exoskeleton: Subjective experience, spasticity and pain in spinal cord injured persons.” NeuroRehabilitation 39.2 (2016): 277-283
- Asselin P, Cirnigliaro CM, Kornfeld S, et al. Effect of Exoskeletal-Assisted Walking on Soft Tissue Body Composition in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2021;102(2):196-202.
- Duddy D, Doherty R, Connolly J, McNally S, Loughrey J, Faulkner M. The Effects of Powered Exoskeleton Gait Training on Cardiovascular Function and Gait Performance: A Systematic Review. Sensors (Basel). 2021;21(9):3207. Published 2021 May 5. doi:10.3390/s21093207