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First-Ever Meta-Analysis of Exoskeleton Technologies Concludes Powered Exoskeleton Systems Permit Safe Ambulation in Real-Life Settings and Produce Health Benefits

YOKNEAM ILIT, Israel and BERLIN and MARLBOROUGH, Mass., April 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ReWalk Robotics Ltd. RWLK, -1.46% ("ReWalk"), the leading global exoskeleton developer and manufacturer, announced today the publication of the first systematic review and industry-wide meta-analysis of existing published literature assessing the clinical effectiveness and safety of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in patients with spinal cord injury ("SCI"). The report summarizing the research concluded that "powered exoskeletons allow patients with SCI to safely ambulate in real-world settings at a physical activity intensity conducive to prolonged use and known to yield health benefits."

The report is published in the most recent edition of Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, and is co-authored by Larry E. Miller, who led the review and report with colleagues Angela K. Zimmerman and William G. Herbert. The meta-analysis—a first of its kind for the review of exoskeleton systems—examined 14 published studies representing 111 patients and focused on ambulatory performance, physiological demand, health benefits and safety. The studies incorporated in this analysis utilized a number of powered exoskeleton systems across the industry.

The authors offer a number of key conclusions:

  • 76% of patients studied were able to ambulate without any physical assistance from another human being following completion of the exoskeleton training program.
  • Powered exoskeleton systems allow patients a safe means of ambulation conducive to prolonged use.
  • Routine use of the exoskeleton system is known to yield health benefits, including improvement in muscle spasticity and bowel movement regularity.

"This expansive, industry-wide review of published data offers critical confirmation of the multiple documented benefits of powered exoskeletons for the SCI community. We are pleased to see a growing acceptance and declaration of ReWalk and other exoskeleton systems as proven technologies with clear health benefits to customers. As the market leader in our industry, ReWalk will continue to work with the SCI community, health care providers and insurance providers, sharing the large body of published data to help support treatment and reimbursement decisions," said Larry Jasinski, Chief Executive Officer of ReWalk.

The authors expand upon the conclusions about health benefits for the user of powered exoskeleton systems in their report:

"In addition, several other benefits may accrue to SCI patients as a result of intermittent standing and habitual ambulating activity with the powered exoskeleton, including increasing upper body muscular fitness, minimizing declines in bone mineral density by...