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Health Watch: FDA Approves Device That Helps Spinal Injury Patients Walk

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new breakthrough is allowing patients with spinal cord injuries to use a revolutionary device to walk again, at home.

The Food and Drug Administration recently cleared the ReWalk from Argo Medical Technologies for personal use.

The robot powers hip and knee motion to help paralyzed patients stand and walk.

Fourteen patients have learned to use the system that’s being studied at the Bronx VA Medical Center.

“Almost all the subjects have lost fat mass. We’ve also had improvements in patient reported outcomes of pain and quality of life,” Dr. Ann M. Spungen of the Exoskeletal-Assisted Walking Program at the Bronx VA Medical Center said.

“The biggest thing though would be giving me back my independence,” ReWalk patient, Theresa Hannigan, said.

The device costs about $70,000.

The FDA clearance requires that a companion is also trained on using the ReWalk at home.

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