New treatments for spinal cord injuries resemble technology we are accustomed to witnessing in science fiction movies. Robotics have allowed for significant advances in modern medicine, especially for treating people with catastrophic injuries.
Accident survivors may soon have the opportunity to use bionic spines and exoskeletons to regain movement and independence. Here is what you need to know about these exciting new technologies.
ReWalk exoskeleton: ReWalk Robotics is the company responsible for creating an advanced exoskeleton that can help the paralyzed regain mobility. An exoskeleton is a powered robotic suit that works with the lower legs to create movement. ReWalk’s exoskeleton senses the users’ center of gravity to create leg movement. People equipped with ReWalk exoskeletons still have to use crutches to maintain balance. Unfortunately, the ReWalk Exoskeleton, while FDA approved, has a whopping price tag of $70,000. New technologies generally become cheaper with each passing year.
Bionic spines: Bionics is a field that mixes human tissue with robotics, allowing for some really exciting new medical breakthroughs. Researchers in Melbourne, Australia, have become the first in the world to create a bionic spine implant. Don’t get the wrong idea, the bionic spine is not a replacement for the real thing. This is a tiny device the size of a pinky that resembles a spine, but is implanted into the brain. Once implanted into the brain, it allows the user to control robotic limbs or exoskeletons with the power of thought.
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As medicine continues to make advances with robotics and other technologies, people with catastrophic injuries will have an easier time regaining the independence they have lost. These developments are exciting and always warrant further discussion.
Continue following our blog for future updates on how these technologies can help accident survivors.