Clinical Site Visit: collaboration between ABLE Human Motion and CEN

During RehabWeek2021, ABLE Human Motion and the European Centre of Neurosciences (CEN) presented a collaborative case study and clinical site visit. To showcase how technology companies and clinical institutions can work together to provide better therapy.

Team members from ABLE Human Motion and CEN presenting the clinical site visit
as part of RehabWeek2021.

The clinical case presented was Pau. A 32-year-old man who suffered a T9 complete spinal cord injury due to decompression disease. During a diving rescue maneuver in 2020. Pau moved from a treatment centre in Mallorca to CEN. So that he could undergo intensive therapy for 4-5 hours per day with state-of-the-art technology. His therapy goals are to stimulate his trunk and lower limbs. As much as possible in order to to recover some activity and functional independence. So far, Pau has seen improvement in his trunk control and reduced muscle spasticity through his treatment at CEN.

In the session, Alfons Carnicero (CEO at ABLE) and José López (CEO at CEN) demonstrated how patients can progress through different stages of therapy. Using a combination of the ABLE Exoskeleton® and the RYSEN®. The RYSEN system provides body weight support to users. And immediately detects when they lose balance, therefore preventing all falls. This additional safety layer, used in combination with the ABLE Exoskeleton®, allows the patient to completely focus on walking. While they learn to use the device. After building some trust in the exoskeleton, the RYSEN® system can then be removed. And the patient can walk overground only with the exoskeleton. They also demonstrated how the patient can learn to initiate the steps of the ABLE Exoskeleton® autonomously. Which is important to achieving Pau’s goals of increased independence.

During intensive therapy such as the programs offered at CEN, robotic interventions bring several benefits. Robotic therapy allows for high repetitions of walking movement, which is critical to recovery and to maintain therapeutic benefits of walking.

It also allows for motivating training sessions for patients, and reduces the number of therapists and physical exertion required to obtain a natural walking pattern.

Without an exoskeleton device, complete spinal cord injuries require 3-4 therapists working with the patient at the same time to mobilize the body joints. Walking with an exoskeleton provides a more natural gait pattern with the assistance of only one therapist, allowing them to dedicate more time to walking while in therapy.

Clinical and industry partnerships such as this one between CEN and ABLE Human Motion lead to technology that can best meet the needs of both clinicians and patients. Additionally, this session provided a live forum for interactive discussion between the conference attendees about how to tackle challenges in robotic locomotor training. This collaboration was encouraged by RehabWeek, who’s goal is to foster interdisciplinary exchange and learning between clinical, scientific, and industry professionals.

RehabWeek 2021 took place from September 23-25. RehabWeek is the most prominent international conference on rehabilitation technology.


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