Purchase of Exoskeleton Bionic Rehabilitation Suit
The project made an Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton available to patients in rural areas. This enables community rehabilitation of patients recovering from spinal injuries, strokes and brain injuries.
This project enabled the No Barriers Foundation to provide an Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton for use by patients in rural areas. It allows people with neurological injuries and illnesses to rehabilitate in their own community. The suit can be moved to wherever it is needed in Donegal, simply by making an appointment. The service user is accompanied by a qualified physiotherapist at all times. The project allows the service user to avail of an affordable and self-sustaining service that otherwise would not exist. It essentially recognised a massively disadvantaged group within rural Donegal and gave them an opportunity to improve their social, physical and mental wellbeing.
As of June 2019, 15 wheelchair-using patients have access to the exoskeleton through the project’s pilot scheme. A total of 90 000 steps have been taken within the rural community by the patients.
The suit was being used at full capacity (30 sessions per week) within three months of the launch of the referral scheme.
The service is now financially self-sustainable, with full-time physiotherapy staff and there is potential for further re-investment in capital.
The project has allowed the No Barriers Foundation to employ two full-time staff. Another four positions have been created for contractors.
The suit allows wheelchair users to train and rehabilitate side by side with others within the community.