With a global increase in the use of exoskeletons for individuals that have sustained a spinal cord injury, the market has seen a range of new manufacturers working to develop technology that is more effective, easier to use and most importantly transferable from clinic to home. One of these manufacturers is Parker Hannifen who have successfully developed the Indego®, “a powered lower limb exoskeleton enabling people with spinal cord injuries to walk and participate in over-ground gait training”.
The Royal Buckinghamshire was the first centre in UK to purchase the Indego® to enable inpatient and outpatient assessment of suitability for SCI patients. With many patients going through complex medico-legal processes following an accident, highlighting the options available to enable them to have the highest level of independence is an important aspect of what is offered at the centre. The Indego® has proven to be a strong option for a number of patients with the first UK patient being successfully awarded a settlement to cover the cost of purchasing an Indego®.
The Royal Buckinghamshire Lead Physiotherapist, Eva Sobonova has been involved extensively in supporting the research, development and clinical implementation of Exoskeletons in UK and globally. Eva has worked closely with Parker Hannifen to develop a sound clinical understanding of the equipment so it can be used effectively in clinic and to offer first-hand experience that can then be shared with other clinicians as they develop their services.
Parker Hannifen currently have three instructors worldwide who are qualified in teaching other professionals on how to use the Indego®, with the proven success and popularity of Indego® they no longer have enough capacity to train new clinicians on how to use the kit. Eva has been selected to undergo the instructor training and will then be able to support with training new clinics across Europe and The Middle East. Eva is commencing her training in Finland in August 2018 and will spend time shadowing the European Instructor during a live training programme in a local rehabilitation clinic.
To find out more about Indego® you can visit http://www.indego.com/indego/en/home