Everyone will stand up
In a year, exoskeleton manufacturer ExoAtlet for motor rehabilitation of patients with locomotor disorders plans to launch the final phase of external rehabilitation in Russia, company head Ekaterina Bereziy shared in an interview with socialbites.ca.
The first pilot will consist of the launch of exo-gyms [gym — тренажерный зал] in various regions of Russia. They will become training areas where patients can train on exoskeletons regularly and continuously.
The exoskeleton aids in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy (infantile cerebral palsy), TBI (traumatic brain injury) and the consequences of stroke.
“We are faced with the task of starting the final phase of exrehabilitation. We want people to have the opportunity to get a certain amount of education after staying at the clinic, then we will be able to stand up a lot of people. You can start in several stages. The first is the launch of pilot exo-gym projects in Russia, ”Berezy explained.
These outpatient training centers will work directly with clinics to guide patients to exercise after a two-week stay. Hourly training in such an exo-gym will cost 6.5 thousand rubles.
According to Bereziy, the first ExoGym will be designed for children, and the ExoAthlet is launching in Moscow along with MedScan. Until now, the exact date of opening of the juvenile exogyme is unknown.
“Unfortunately, all our plans have been somewhat put on hold due to the unstable situation. If earlier charities were ready to work with us, we had deals, we knew potential sponsors, but now they are absent in Russia. Therefore, we are actively seeking funding and have even applied for the Presidential Grant Fund competition. Results will be known in June. If we are approved by the Presidential grant, we will start literally in the same second,” he said.
The launch of exo-gyms is an important stage of exo-rehabilitation. Today, patients can be hospitalized in clinics where there is an exoskeleton, but after two weeks and 10 prescribed training sessions, a person simply leaves, although, of course, he continues his studies.
“The question of where to continue education remains open. This third stage of rehabilitation has not yet started, it can be said that it does not exist. There are private clinics that offer outpatient training, but these are isolated cases and not open to many. We should make exo-gyms as common as inpatient rehabilitation. The next step is to include this service in the standard and to determine the tariff, in addition, the procedure for obtaining compulsory health insurance service should be provided, this may take about two years.
Additionally, the company plans to make exorcism mandatory as part of standard medical care in the future.
“The economic and clinical effectiveness of the method has been proven. Now we need to make this method of working with patients mandatory for everyone who comes to the clinic. I also want to create a social environment, a network where patients and doctors can communicate, share experiences, support and motivate each other,” Gazeta said. Ru’s interlocutor.
How does it work?
The exoskeleton is an “exoskeleton” that enables a paralyzed person to walk like a healthy person. The device is used for exorehabilitation, a form of supervised neurotraining that includes walking, stair climbing, and other exercises.
The exoskeleton is adjusted according to the patient’s height. In a sitting position, a paralyzed person puts on an exoskeleton and then puts the person in an upright position. At the same time, the patient does not carry a 20 kg exoskeleton, but walks parallel to it, overcoming various obstacles.
The device has three different control options necessary to maintain balance and assist the patient: from the joystick attached to the device, from the tablet and from the companion safety levers.
Thanks to training, patients develop the stereotype of independent walking, the support ability of the lower extremities increases, as well as the range of motion in the leg joints increases and the sway of the trunk decreases.
According to Bereziy, such walking in an exoskeleton not only trains the muscles, but also trains the nervous system, which learns to control the legs and walk again after an injury.
“It’s like two separate items: the patient is separate, the exoskeleton is separate. The main story is that because of this type of movement, the movement trains the brain and spinal cord. Thus, by stimulating the nervous system, we enable it to start working properly.”
Exogyms are a must
Motorica co-founder and CEO Ilya Chekh is confident that the development of rehabilitation fitness centers is a promising direction.
“Most importantly, this format is very necessary because there are very few private training sites with qualified medical and technical staff. There is nowhere for people to go to rehab after they complete their first week at the rehab center.
The problem is that a one-day rehabilitation system has not been established in Russia. Often this is an important factor in successful rehabilitation, not only in exoskeletons, but also in prosthetics.
However, it is not yet clear how these services will be regulated and this can be very difficult. But in general, the idea is very useful, ”Chech told socialbites.ca.
Svetlana Pervykh, medical director of MDinc, believes that building such educational and recovery foundations will be a good help in incorporating active rehabilitation into general protocols for the recovery of patients after various diseases and injuries.
“However, there is the problem of employment. Training of rehabilitation specialists with experience working with exoskeletons is a slow process. Establishing such staff requires not only the selection and training of such specialists, but also the development of new clinical guidelines, protocols and approaches to the treatment of patients.
Still, in my view, any step towards improving the rehabilitation process is a huge help both for patients after injuries, surgeries and past illnesses, and for the country’s economy as a whole,” says Pervykh.