Parker Hannifin Corporation recently announced its human motion business unit will supply Indego exoskeleton devices for a U.S. Department of Defense-funded clinical study.
“This study will provide sound medical evidence to inform best practices for post injury [spinal cord injury] SCI care and will assess effectively the rehabilitative and economic return of exoskeleton systems,” the principal investigator of the study Michael Goldfarb, PhD, H. Fort Flowers Chair in Mechanical Engineering and professor of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University, stated in a press release from Parker Hannifin Corporation.
During the 4-year, multicenter investigation, three studies will be conducted. The first will look at the potential health, neurological recovery and mobility benefits of walking with an exoskeleton in complete and incomplete spinal cord injured individuals. The second will assess the impact of exoskeleton walking in conjunction with functional electrical stimulation. The third will examine the use of the exoskeleton in home and community settings.
A group of 54 people will participate in the study at three locations: Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.; and James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Fla.
“We are proud and honored that the Indego exoskeleton has been selected for this important research project and excited to expand our network of clinical partners to these prestigious centers, including our first major [veterans affairs] VA center,” Achilleas Dorotheou, vice president and Head of Human Motion at Parker Hannifin Corporation, stated in the release. “This is still a new field where research is needed to learn more about the general application of exoskeleton devices and the key features that have to be offered to gait impaired individuals to facilitate health benefits.”