Monday, January 31, 2011

The 10 Best Hospitals for Wheelchair Users In the USA

If you are in a wheelchair, one of your most important issues is receiving the best healthcare possible. What are the best hospitals for wheelchair users in the USA?

US News and World Report has ranked hospitals for a variety of specialities including rehabilitation. In the case of rehabilitation 200 physicians were randomly selected and asked to list five hospitals they consider to be the best in their specialty for complex or difficult cases.

So, what were the top ten hospitals for wheelchair users according to rehabilitation physicians selected by US News and World Report?

1. Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago Ill

2. Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, West Orange, NJ

3. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA

4. Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, MA

5. TIRR Memorial Hermann, Houston, TX

6. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

7. Craig Hospital, Englewood, CO

8. Rusk Institute, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY

9. Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA

10. Moss Rehab, Elkins Park, PA

Interestingly, no Rehabilitation Center from California placed in the top 10 best rehabilition centers and only two from the Western USA are among the top 20 best rehabilition hospitals. University of Washington Medical Center ranked in 3rd place and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center of California, came in 17th place. Seems like if you are a wheelchair user, the best place for health care is in the Eastern USA. Also interestingly, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has been selected as the top Rehabilitation Hospital for 20 consecutive years. That is quite a record.

See the complete list of top hospitals for wheelchair users as selected by US News and World Report.

Friday, January 28, 2011

ReWalk Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users Approved for Sale in USA

I had been reading reports that ReWalk was FDA approved for sale in the USA. But I had not seen an official announcement to that effect. I had also seen a mention of an official price. I contacted John Frijters of Argo Medical Technologies and asked for confirmation and received this response:

ReWalkTM-I is now available for sale to institutions in Europe and USA. We will deliver the first serial production units by end of next month...The price of € 87'500 for ReWalkTM-I, the model of ReWalk sold to institutions such as Rehab Clinics, is correct. (Plus VAT, shipment, certification, ..)

Read more about ReWalk Exoskeleton for wheelchair users.

Monday, January 24, 2011

eLEGS Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users Visits Kaiser Permanente's Garfield Innovation Center

Berkeley Bionics took Elegs Exoskeleton for a visit to Kaiser Permanente's Garfield Innovation Center this week. No wonder. Whether they are interested in the large patient pool or the innovative approach to health care, it is easy to see why Berkeley Bionics would be eager to build a good relationship with Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente, with 8.6 million health plan members is the largest managed care organization in the USA.

Kaiser Permanente's Garfield Innovation Center is a testing grounds for medical equipment and was selected as one of the top ten innovative health care companies in the USA.

A journalist from Fast Company attended the demonstration of Elegs. Berkeley Bionics VP of engineering John Fogelin discussed the the future of eLEGS and stated:

Next up: bringing eLEGS to five to 10 rehab clinics across the U.S. by the end of 2011. After that, Berkeley will make the 45-pound device even lighter and bring it into homes by 2013. At that point, Fogelin estimates that it cost between $30,000 and $50,000, or approximately the same price as a high-end wheelchair.

This gives notice to wheelchair users who plan to walk by 2013. Start saving money now. Your goal is probably going to be around $30,000 to $50,000.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stability Of The Rex Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users

Rex Bionics has released a new video demonstrating the stability of the Rex Exoskeleton. It is pretty impressive to see Chief Technology Officer and founder Richard Little swinging from side to side on the Rex Exoskeleton:

This stability is significant for several reasons. Rex is the only exoskeleton on the market that does not need the help of the wearer to stay upright. As can be seen, Rex does a very good job staying upright all by itself. While most exoskeletons will require that the user has good upper body strength, Rex will proabaly be able to be used by most people. Read more about the Rex Exoskeleton on the Exoskeleton Website.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Rare Look At Hal Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users

As mentioned earlier, the Japanese company Cyberdyne visited the CES show in Las Vegas to demonstrate the HAL exoskeleton. They let a journalist try HAL on. Here you can see how HAL gets put on a wearer and then calibrated:


He says "I am just thinking "walk" and the suit moves my legs for me. Read the rest of his report about wearing the HAL exoskeleton. Read more about the HAL exoskeleton on the Exoskeletons Website.

Friday, January 14, 2011

RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers : Wheelchair Tire Covers Now In 3 Colors

RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers are now available in three attractive colors! But in case you have not seen wheelchair tire covers before, let's take a closer look at what they are all about.

RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers cover the wheelchair tires in order to keep the house and hands free from dirt and germs. These attractive wheelchair tire covers slip on easily and are machine washable. Marketed since 2005 RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers have been available only in beige color. Beige is the perfect color for a wheelchair tire cover if you want to keep your house free from lint and dust. But some wheelchair users have been requesting that these wheelchair tire covers are available in darker colors as well. Now you have a choice! Begining in 2011, RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers will be available in three attractive colors, purple, blue as well as classic beige:

Watch this demo to see how easy it is to put RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers on to your wheelchair:

As shown in the video RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers offers the choice of how to best use your tire covers. These wheelchair tire covers are designed to go over the handgrips to keep your hands clean or behind the handgrips so that you can push the wheelchair as you normally do. RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers are made from an artificial suede material which is soft to the touch. The inside has a specialized rubbery material to grab the wheels and the handgrips in order to prevent slippage.

Now with three colors to choose from, RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers offer even more choice. No matter what color you select, RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers are the Wheelchair Tire Covers to use to keep your house and hands clean and free from dirt.

And it does not matter where you live. The price for RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers includes TWO wheelchair tire covers plus FREE shipping by registered parcel post anywhere in the world. Payment is by Paypal, so you know your purchase is secure.

Read more about RehaDesign Wheelchair Tire Covers.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Exoskeleton Named #3 Innovation for 2010 By CNN

CNN named eLEGs Exoskeleton for wheelchair users innovativon #3 for 2010. Watch this video of the top 10 innovations as selected by CNN:

Now two major publications, Time and CNN, have recognized the exoskeleton as one of the most important innovations of 2010. However, I am puzzled as to how the iPAD outranked the exoskeleton.

Read more about eLEGS Exoskeleton on the Exoskeleton Website.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Video About ReWalk Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users

The good people from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology notified me that there is a new video about ReWalk Exoskeleton for wheelchair users.

This is an excellent video, because you not only see information about the ReWalk Exoskeleton, you get a brief insight into the guy who developed ReWalk, Amit Goffer and you get an idea about the impact that an exoskeleton can have on the life of a wheelchair user. Take a moment to watch it:

I have now inserted this video in the section about ReWalk Exoskeleton on the Exoskeleton Website.

Thanks to Barbara for keeping me updated!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Exoskeleton Controlled By Thought!

One of the major challenges in creating an exoskeleton for wheelchair users is how to control it. Some exoskeleton manufacturers use joysticks, some use force and motion sensors others use electromyography, that is, sensing the electrical activity of the muscle. None of these are optimal and none will work for everyone.

But a recent study from the Dr. Nicholas Hatsopoulos of the University Of Chicago, demonstrated that monkey can control an exoskeleton by thought alone!

Hatsopoulos said. “I think using these wearable robots and controlling them with the brain is, in my opinion, probably the most promising approach to take in helping paralyzed individuals regain the ability to move.”

If this work is successful, the day may not be far off when a wheelchair user can move an exoskeleton in a similar way that an able-bodied person moves their legs.

Read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users on the Exoskeleton Website