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Effectiveness of a novel wearable lower limb exoskeleton as a walking assistance tool after spinal cord injury

This project is an assessment of the efficacy of an exoskeleton as a tool to assist patients with walking and rehabilitation following a spinal cord injury (SCI). Use of an exoskeleton could help in improving gait, reach, and ability to engage with coworkers, as well as in enhancing overall health and independence.

The main objective is to develop a second prototype of the exoskeleton and conduct two pilot trials. The first trial is to demonstrate the level of independence in using the exoskeleton. The second trial is to investigate the effectiveness of the exoskeleton as a rehabilitation tool to train patients to walk, as compared with conventional physiotherapy practices.

The development of wearable exoskeleton technologies may allow SCI patients to have a better opportunity to return to their pre-injury employer, have improved quality of life, and fewer secondary health complications. The pilot study will also provide valuable feedback for improving the prototype.

Principal Applicant: Edward Park (SFU)
Funding Awarded: $150,000 (Specific Priorities)

Competition Year: 2019 Asset type: Research