Singapore introduces improvised exoskeleton rehab

June 7, 2019

Much of rehabilitation for paralysing injuries is repetitive and tiring. In a changing approach, the island Republic has adopted new technology for better rehab programmes. Using the US-made robotic exoskeleton suit, EksoGT, was found to improve rehabilitation therapies by a significant margin.

The EksoGT allows a trained physiotherapist to safely increase the intensity and variation of gait training for patients – they can move around more and are not easily tired. The suit has also been observed to improve confidence among the disabled who had limited movement previously.

To do this, Singapore’s National University Health System (NUHS) firstly launched the Improving Mobility via Exoskeletons Programme (iMove) to study the use of robotic exoskeletons for outpatient rehab in community hospitals and nursing homes. The two-year programme will evaluate patient outcomes as compared to standard care, and will then assess if more complex programmes are viable.

iMove will enroll some 400 patients – data will be recorded from a 100-member control group not using the exoskeleton suit, while the remaining patients will have varying uses with it.At present, 68 patients have used the EksoGT suits and about half had been recorded for the iMove study.

Dr. Effie Chew, Chief of Rehabilitation Services at Alexandra Hospital, an institution part of the programme, has said that some of these patients have shown an improvement in at least one category of functional mobility.

So, a positive study outcome is hoped to sustain the use of the exoskeleton technology in community healthcare.


Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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