There is no doubt that one of the most devastating injuries that a person can suffer in a serious car accident or truck accident is paralysis. Suddenly, you are forced learn how to adjust to an entirely new life -- one without walking.
As it turns out, however, this may not be entirely true as medical technology companies across the globe and right here in the United States are working on new devices that enable paralysis victims to walk again.
Ekso Bionics, located in California, and Argo Medical Technologies, located in Israel, have each devised wearable exoskeletons -- called the Ekso and the ReWalk respectively -- that essentially use robotic, motorized frames to help people move about without the use of a wheelchair.
"It's fantastic," said Dan W., 42, who was paralyzed in a hunting accident. "There's nothing better for the body, let alone for my head."
While people may think that such technology is available only in select medical facilities in the U.S., this is far from the case. In fact, the Philadelphia metro area is home to at least four ReWalks and Eskos.
"Philadelphia -- it's a bionic hub," said Eythor Bender, CEO of Ekso Bionics, who indicated that he could not think of another city with so many of the devices.
While the ultimate goal is to have the motorized exoskeletons available for everyday use, experts caution that it will still take some time to achieve this objective. First, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved the devices for use as a therapy aid at medical facilities. Second, the cost of the devices is still fairly steep -- $130,000 for an Ekso and $85,000 for a ReWalk -- and insurers must therefore be provided with more proof of medical benefits.
Still, no price can be put on the positive impact that the devices are on having on their users.
"Words cannot really describe how I feel at the moment," said Michael S., 46, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident. "If I would hit the lottery tomorrow, I would certainly try to get one."
Stay tuned for more from our Philadelphia personal injury/wrongful death blog ...
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, truck crash or due to the reckless actions of another, it's important to remember that you have rights and you have options. An attorney who can answer your questions and explain your rights can prove to be an indispensable ally.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Names have been withheld to protect the identity of the parties.
Source: The Inquirer, "Philadelphia is a hotbed of robotic frames that help paralysis victims walk," May 13, 2012
Categories: Car Accident