Exoskeleton technology leader, ARGO Medical Technologies, along with mobility solutions provider, Cyclone Technologies, announced today that Claire Lomas has become the first person to take home an exoskeleton system for personal use. Claire demonstrated her personal ReWalk™ at the annual International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) meeting held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Center.
32 year-old paraplegic Claire from Leicestershire, was injured in 2007 during a horse riding accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. She achieved a significant milestone when she became the first person in the world to complete the London Marathon in a bionic suit in April 2012, and raised more than £200,000 for spine injury research. As a result, Claire was chosen to light the celebration cauldron in Trafalgar Square to kick-off the 2012 Paralympics in London.
“I am very excited to take the ReWalk home and incorporate it in my daily life,” said Lomas. “With the help of the ReWalk I am able to stand, walk, talk to my friends and family eye-to-eye, and exercise in a ways that I have not been able to since my injury.”
The new technology, which is manufactured by Argo Medical Technologies and supplied exclusively in the UK by East Yorkshire-based mobility solutions provider, Cyclone Technologies, has seen Claire become the first person in the world to utilise exoskeleton technology at home, and in her everyday life. The ReWalk enables her to stand, ascend and descend stairs and walk indoors and outdoors independently and on a daily basis.
Claire recently completed training at Cyclone’s rehabilitation and training centre using the ReWalk model made specifically for institutional use. This model is currently available in clinics and medical institutions in UK, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain for training and therapy purposes.
Larry Jasinski, CEO of Argo Medical Technologies, said, “Years of research and hard work from a very talented team of engineers has made this product possible. We’re looking forward to seeing Claire build on her accomplishments alongside the Cyclone team, whose training is such a key component in ensuring that users get the most from the device. We are officially launching the ReWalk personal use system in the EU with this start in the UK. It’s our aim to get as many individuals as possible walking again, and the launch of the ReWalk will allow customers to use the technology for a range of activities. It truly is the beginning of Rewalking as a part of daily life.”
Dave Hawkins, Managing Director of Cyclone Technologies, said, “What the team at Argo has achieved is truly remarkable, and we’re incredibly pleased to be supplying and training individuals like Claire to use such a revolutionary product, which for the first time ever, will see individuals with lower-limb disabilities using exoskeleton technology in their everyday lives. Since we introduced the institutional model of the ReWalk suit to the UK in May 2011, we’ve been inundated with enquiries from customers wanting to know when they could actually order their own ReWalk device and take it home after completion of their training, and I’m thrilled to say, now they can do exactly that.”
Invented by Israeli entrepreneur and founder of Argo Medical Technologies, Dr Amit Goffer, who became a quadriplegic in 1998, the ReWalk can help individuals with lower-limb disabilities such as paraplegia. It provides individuals with user-initiated mobility through the integration of a light wearable brace support, a computer-based control system and motion sensors.