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FDA approves Wandercraft's exoskeleton for stroke patient rehabilitation: Atalante could help patients regain gait.

Stroke patients in the U.S. could soon enjoy cutting-edge robotic technology during the recovery process. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Wandercraft's Atalante exoskeleton for use in stroke rehabilitation. The device can help with intensive gait training, especially for people with limited upper-body mobility that could prevent the use of other methods.

The current generation of the Atalante is a self-balancing, battery-powered device with an adjustable gait that can help with initial steps to more natural walking later in therapy. The hardware still needs to be used in a clinical setting with the help of a therapist, but hands-free use allows patients to regain their gait whether or not they can use their arms.

Wandercraft plans to ship its first exoskeletons in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year, but did not name initial customers. The company only recently launched its commercial business in the U.S., but backer Quadrant Management believes Wandercraft could "significantly expand" its operations in the next year or two.

FDA-approved exoskeletons are still relatively rare and limited to assisting with certain conditions. Last June, Ekso Bionics received approval to market its EksoNR device for multiple sclerosis rehab. Wandercraft's approval will make the technology available to a broader range of patients and could be especially helpful since strokes are a leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. Each year, more than 795,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke - this could help some of them regain their mobility.

Source: FDA clears Wandercraft's exoskeleton for stroke patient rehab (engadget.com) (24.01.2023)

Tom Illauer

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