With exosuit technology, post-stroke patients may regain their normal gait

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 15:02 in Health & Medicine

Walking upright on two legs is a defining human trait, but it’s one that can vanish in the blink of an eye. About 80 percent of stroke patients typically lose normal function in one limb, a clinical phenomenon called hemiparesis. Even patients who recover mobility with rehabilitation can have abnormalities in their gait that keep them from participating in many activities, increase their risks of falling, and, because of the more sedentary lifestyle they impose, lead to secondary health problems. To help these patients regain their ability to walk, robotics groups from industry and academia are developing powered wearable devices — known as exoskeletons — that restore gait functions or assist with rehabilitation. In the past, these systems could be used only on a treadmill in a clinical setting, but in recent years developers have created portable systems. Working toward the long-term goal of developing soft robots that can be worn as...

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