A robotic exoskeleton that helps paralyzed people walk again has won Food and Drug Administration approval, meaning anyone can buy one. “For the first time individuals with paraplegia will be able to take home this exoskeleton technology, use it every day and maximize on the physiological and psychological benefits we have observed in clinical trials,” said Larry Jasinski, CEO of Argo Medical Technologies, which makes the suit.
“It will be incredible for me to regain independence, to use the system to walk and stand on my own,” said Derek Herrera, a Marine captain who’s getting one. “I see this as a milestone for people in my same situation who will now have access to this technology — to experience walking again, and all of the health benefits that come with ReWalking.” Studies show not only does the device help patients walk on their own, but they regain muscle strength, stamina and other benefits.
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- Maggie Fox
First published June 26 2014, 3:43 PM
Maggie Fox is senior health writer for NBCNews.com and TODAY.com, writing top news on health policy, medical treatments and disease.
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She's a former managing editor for healthcare and technology at National Journal and global health and science editor for Reuters based in Washington, D.C. and London.
She's reported for news agencies, radio, newspapers, magazines and television from across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe covering news ranging from war to politics and, of course, health and science. Her reporting has taken Maggie to Lebanon, Syria and Libya; to China, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Pakistan; to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia and to Ireland and Northern Ireland and across the rest of Europe.
Maggie has won awards from the Society of Business Editors and Writers, the National Immunization Program, the Overseas Press Club and other organizations. She's done fellowships at Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health and the University of Maryland.