Exoskeleton technology comes to Australia
Royal Rehab — an Australian provider of rehabilitation and disability support services — has entered into an agreement with United States robotic company Ekso Bionics to bring advanced exoskeleton technology to Australia. The agreement propels Royal Rehab’s plans to become a centre of excellence in technology-driven rehabilitation through the acquisition of assistive technologies, to help patients move more freely, communicate, control objects and complete everyday tasks.
The EksoNR is set to revolutionise the Australian rehabilitation sector with its ability to help patients stand and walk following incomplete spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, stroke and other neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Royal Rehab CEO Matt Mackay said breakthroughs in technology are driving better and faster outcomes for people living with life-changing conditions and injury; however, these have been unavailable in Australia, until now.
“Those treated for spinal cord injuries or a neurological condition overseas will often have access to assistive technology that can dramatically change a person’s quality of life,’’ he said.
“Robotics, virtual reality and exoskeletons are an integral part of rehab programs in other countries because they can accelerate recovery, strength and mobility to a whole new level. Australian patients now have the opportunity to access this potentially life-changing technology.
“The reality is that the rehabilitation equipment available to Australian patients has not evolved much in decades. We are delighted to be changing the status quo with EksoNR,” Mackay said.
“It is our vision to create a centre of excellence in rehabilitation technology which will empower people with disabilities with an unparalleled level of freedom, choice and independence.”
According to Chwee Foon, CEO Asia Pacific Ekso Bionics, “Technology is revolutionising the rehabilitation sector, and tech-savvy organisations like Royal Rehab are embracing the opportunities they bring for patients.
“We are delighted to welcome Royal Rehab as one of our certified rehab centres, to bring the EksoNR to Australians. With their strong reputation in neurological, brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation and commitment to empowering people to reach their potential, the organisation is a perfect fit.”
Under the agreement, Royal Rehab physiotherapists have completed comprehensive training to operate the two EksoNRs, which will be utilised across Royal Rehab facilities in personalised rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities. EksoNR is currently available through Royal Rehab’s services including Royal Rehab Private Hospital, Community Rehabilitation Services and specialist brain and spinal injury units, and is coming soon to MetroRehab Hospital.
Royal Rehab is also in discussions with Ekso Bionics to act as the demonstration site of the EksoNR for other rehabilitation providers in the Australian market in the future.
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