New Device to Help Paralyzed Patients Walk Again


An Israel-based company in January plans to start selling a device that uses motors and sensors to help paralyzed patients stand, walk and, in some cases, climb stairs, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Argo Medical Technologies -- founded by Amit Goffer, who was paralyzed in a 1997 car accident -- will start selling its "ReWalk" device to rehabilitation centers worldwide after years of clinical testing in the U.S. and Israel, according to the AP.

The 35-pound device, which costs about $100,000, includes leg braces with motion sensors and motorized "joints" that are triggered by upper-body movement, the AP said. ReWalk attaches to the body with waist and shoulder harnesses and includes a backpack with a computer and rechargeable battery.

In spite of the cost, rehab centers that buy the device may be able to get returns on their investments because the product may prevent costly complications that paralysis victims often experience, including pressure sores and heart and circulatory problems, Argo claims.

Berkeley, Calif.-based Berkeley Bionics and New Zealand-based Rex Bionics are also developing similar devices designed to mobilize paralysis patients, the AP says.