Physiotherapist-led robotic rehabilitation service to help people with mobility needs and paralysis improve their walking
Helping provide people with paralysis with free access to robotic rehabilitation, Dublin City University (DCU) has officially launched the DCU Exoskeleton Programme in collaboration with renowned explorer Mark Pollock.
The physiotherapist-led service will enable people with reduced mobility to access the Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton to allow them to complete sessions of supported walking, facilitated by a trained handler.
Under the direction of Clinical Lead and Neurorehabilitation Physiotherapist Ronan Langan, the Exoskeleton Programme is designed to deliver an array of health benefits that regular walking provides.
The exoskeleton within the DCU Exoskeleton Programme assists people to stand up and walk, aided by a robotic frame that is strapped to the body. Participants will be able use the innovative technology to improve their walking and help them get back on their feet.
Ronan commented: “I am privileged to lead this new and exciting robotic rehabilitation programme at Dublin City University that aims to break new ground in the field of neurological rehabilitation.
“Using exoskeleton technology, we are incorporating experts from DCU in health, body systems, biomechanics and engineering to maximise and improve service user’s mobility, health and quality of life.
“And, by combining these disciplines and our team’s extensive knowledge of neurological injury and neurorehabilitation, we aim to make a meaningful impact into the research of better therapies for paralysis now and into the future.”
The DCU Exoskeleton Programme is a core element of the overall strategic plan to establish a centre of excellence in robotic interventions in neurorehabilitation at the university.
Prof Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, said: “This groundbreaking programme harnesses DCU’s expertise to offer potentially life-changing benefits for individuals affected by paralysis. It also significantly advances the University’s goal to create a centre of excellence in robotic interventions in Neurorehabilitation. Through initiatives such as the Exoskeleton Programme, DCU is delivering on its mission to ‘transform lives and societies’.”