Bionic robot suit helping paralyzed patients walk

Posted on: 12:33 pm, July 25, 2012, by , updated on: 03:41pm, July 25, 2012


OKLAHOMA CITY — The Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center at Integris Health’s Southwest Medical Center unveiled a bionic robot suit that will help paralyzed Oklahomans stand up and walk.

There are only 10 other states in the U.S. that have this type of robotic technology.

Ekso is a robotic exoskeleton that is re-enabling the disabled.

“Imagine yourself in a wheelchair and you haven’t walked for six months or a year,”Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Medical Director Dr. Al Moorad said. “This is tremendous. We want our patients who live in Oklahoma not to have to go to Houston or Denver or Chicago. We want them to stay here and now they can.”

Thanks to a generous donation from the Chickasaw Tribe, Integris Health will soon own an Ekso bionic suit.

“There really is something about being able to have a conversation with someone eye-to-eye. It’s like being my old self again. It’s truly amazing for me,” Ekso ambassador Sarah Anderson said.

Ekso is forecasting hope for paraplegics like Anderson and others.

This generation of bionic robot is operated by a therapist.

The model that Integris is getting next month will be controlled by the patient.