ReWalk Robotics Ltd. and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have entered the next phase of testing and verification in their joint development of soft exoskeleton technology.
According to a press release, researchers will now evaluate the exoskeleton system in individuals who have had a stroke, in preparation for clinical trials scheduled to begin in 2018.
Utilization of the technology in an [institutional review board] IRB-approved research study, ahead of our clinical trials planned for next year, is a key milestone in the larger effort to pursue regulatory approval and eventually offer a commercial product to millions of patients who need ambulatory assistance,” Larry Jasinski, ReWalk chief executive officer, said in the release. “We continue to work in earnest on rigorous testing and design modification to develop the best technology for disabled individuals.”
According to the release, the technology is designed for patients who have had a stroke and have experienced lower limb disability. In addition, ReWalk and the Wyss Institute are designing soft exoskeleton technology, or a soft exosuit, to service patients with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other mobility challenges.
ReWalk announced the partnership with the Wyss Institute in 2016. The goal is to develop and test lightweight exoskeleton concepts and designs for patients with lower limb disabilities, using licensed intellectual property from Harvard University. According to the release, the soft suit transmits power to key leg joints with cable technologies and fabric-based designs. Its power system is similar to the technologies used in the ReWalk exoskeleton.