Exoskeleton for CVA Rehab

A cva is a cerebrovascular accident, medical terminology for a stroke. In medical parlance, cva rehab is a crucial element of recovery for a stroke victim, and there are always exciting new products on the market to aid in recuperation. One of the newest entrants into the market is the exoskeleton, which makers hope will be a game changer for stroke victims and help them recover better, faster.

The consequences of a cva

17 million Americans have a stroke each year, and there is a huge public awareness effort to publicize the warning signs the benefit of quick diagnosis and treatment. Still, around a million people each year will develop some sort of strong, long term disability due to stroke, and more than half will have some kind of long term issue with walking. 

Nearly all stroke patients will enter into cva rehab to recuperate and regain whatever functions they have lost. This can often be a painstakingly long process, with many different types of therapies, often innovative, to help along the road to recovery. Each individual responds differently to the various therapies, and so many options opens to doors to recovery widely.

The exoskeleton

One intriguing and potentially powerful new product to aid in cva rehab is the exoskeleton. It’s a “wearable robot” made of a garment type of material that the patient wears, with cables running to the limbs and a “motor” at the waist. The therapists who are trained to use it can put in customized settings to imitate the patient’s natural gait.

While the patient walks with the aid of the suit, the brain is meant to learn the movements, getting rewired to allow the patient to eventually make the same movements himself, without the aid of the robotic suit.

While the physical movement is the main goal of the product, doctors are also enthusiastic about the emotional improvements for patients, who are likely to be motivated by wearing the suit and feeling their bodies moving.

One company that has introduced a version of the concept is ReWalk Robotics. Their technology was developed at The Harvard University Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and after undergoing promising trials, they entered into a contract with ReWalk Robotics to collaborate on marketing it to the broader population.

The technology was then tested at five different rehabilitation facilities, and has now been granted FDA approval. They will also be sold in Europe, and other companies are working on bringing out their own models. The current price is over $28,000, but there are leasing options as well. Once there are several options to choose from, the price should stay competitive, and more people will have access to some form of the equipment.

At Sinai Post Acute Care Center for Rehabilitation in Newark, New Jersey, we have excellent services for people who need cva rehab. Our expert and professional staff provides warm and dedicated care for patients, and we have trained therapists who can give our patients the best and most advanced treatments for people who need to recover from a stroke.