ExoAtlet premiered the world's first exoskeletons for children in as many as two versions, Mini and Midi. The premier was hosted by the annual symposium ExoRehab Spotlights in Skolkovo, which has been held by the Foundation's resident for three consecutive years. The number of participants in this year's event is double the number of attendees in the previous one. These include famous experts from Russia, South Korea, United States, Portugal, and other countries, the representatives of Moscow and regional clinics, who have experience in working with exoskeletons made by the Skolkovo resident.
To date, ExoAtlets have covered a total of 63,000 km, which is more than one and a half times the circuit of the globe. The first clinical tests were conducted by the Medical Rehabilitation Clinic of the Pirogov Medical and Surgical Center. The clinic's head, Vadim Daminov, told at the symposium that some 2,000 patients have been rehabilitated thanks to the use of diverse exoskeletons, since the tests had started, with more than 80% using various modifications from ExoAtlet.
ExoAtlet presented the world's first exoskeletons for children at its symposium ExoRehab Spotlights in Skolkovo. Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
Professor Daminov is certain that the development of the Bambini exoskeleton is a new critical phase of the company's evolution.
"We present two Bambini exoskeletons, Midi and Mini versions," ExoAtlet's co-founder Ekaterina Bereziy told Sk.ru. "We kickstarted this development last year. New models cover all heights of children, starting from two year olds. These exoskeletons are designed for children with cerebral palsy, brain injuries, and spine injuries. They feature 8 drives, 4 per leg. They allow taking both sidesteps and steps forward while rolling the foot sole.
These exoskeletons are unique, they are second to none worldwide. None of our competitors offers anything of the kind. We hope to launch clinical tests as early as next year and present a finished product one year from now. We certainly plan to make our first sales to the centers, whose patients are already able to walk using exoskeletons. These are our long-standing partners, who now have extensive experience in handling adult patients. It is in their safe and experienced hands that will receive our first Bambini exoskeletons.
Ekaterina Bereziy: "We assume that this fitness is intended for people with an infinite strength of the spirit." Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
ExoAtlet together with the Child Neurology Center - it's our partner alongside the Northern State Medical University - have applied for the National Technology Initiative's (NTI) grant. We have been awarded that grant and are working within its framework. Development phases include clinical tests on the base of the Center headed by Tatiana Batysheva, Chief External Children's Rehabilitation Therapist at the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation."
Bambini is the most sophisticated device that has been developed by ExoAtlet to date - it offers many more degrees of freedom than an adult exoskeleton and includes more complicated biomechanics, the company's co-founder explains.
Fitness for the brain
Yet another big news from ExoAtlet is the launch of the ExoGym project - it is a chain of rehabilitation outpatient centers designated to fill in the rehabilitation gaps, to which patients are exposed in between their inpatient stays. The first ExoGym will open in January on the premises of A.I. Yevdokimov Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry (MSUMD), more commonly known as the 3rd Medical Institute. The relevant agreement with the president of this institution, Academy Member Oleg Yanushevich, was signed during the symposium.
Academy Member Oleg Yanushevich: "In the past years, ExoAtlet has produced a real technological breakthrough." Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
"We have long yearned to come up with our own chain of rehabilitation centers - outpatient rather than inpatient," ExoAtlet's co-founder says. "Few patients are able to afford continuous rehabilitation. We therefore want to establish a chain of such neighborhood centers, so to say, where people could come and exercise on a permanent basis. We could thus help them recover. We have already seen a few cases in our practice, when the kids learnt to walk on their own - we present them at our symposium; they started walking as a result of continuously using the exoskeleton.
ExoGyms represent platforms with exoskeletons, instructors, communities, and training programs to inspire people to develop themselves. It is like fitness for the brain: we believe that walking affects cognitive functions and inspires people to grow and develop. They will end up walking, whether they believe it or not. Just because we assume that this fitness is intended for people with an infinite strength of the spirit."
The first clinical tests were conducted by the Medical Rehabilitation Clinic of the Pirogov Medical and Surgical Center, headed by Professor Vadim Daminov. Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
According to Ekaterina Bereziy, ExoAtlet filed an application for the presidential grant from non-profit organization Russian Physicians. The grant is aimed at creating a platform in order to conduct scientific research and demonstrate how continuous six-months exercise impacts the restoration of mobility function, making it possible, in turn, to create a scientific component to underlie the franchise model of this project.
"We are going to develop this chain through our partners," Ms. Bereziy explains to Sk.ru. "As we see it, such centers should emerge in every region. Regional Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Funds, too, should support the initiative and set the relevant tariff, since this kind of rehabilitation turns out to be very inexpensive, as compared to the price of an inpatient stay. However, its effectiveness is absolutely stunning. You can waste decades trying to help people recover. Alternatively, you could opt for non-stop rehabilitation for several years. We have seen today people start walking - confidently and unsupported."
Tatiana Batysheva, Chief External Children's Rehabilitation Therapist at the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation: "Hats off to ExoAtlet, the company, who created Bambini." Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
According to MSUMD President, Academy Member Oleg Yanushevich, in the past years, ExoAtlet has made a real technology breakthrough aimed at creating the exorehabilitation environment. "The key project that we plan to develop jointly is the implementation of a rehabilitation system that would enable people with disabilities to come and exercise using ExoAtlet in a fairly prompt manner."
The team of ExoAtlet and Sberbank will take part in Cybathlon 2020. Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
Apart from that initiative, which has an important social role to play, MSUMD is willing to cooperate with the company under its neurointerface project implemented jointly with Skoltech. "The possibility of combining the neurointerface and ExoAtlet is an interesting topic," Academy Member Oleg Yanushevich believes.
Kirill Kaem: "Ekaterina Bereziy and her team managed to initiate a separate sub-industry related to exorehabilitation." Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice President for Innovations at Skolkovo Foundation, who spoke at the symposium opening ceremony, called ExoAtlet one of the Foundation's best residents. "But it is not just a good company," he believes. "In fact, Ms. Bereziy and her team ended up initiating a separate sub-industry related to exorehabilitation. From my perspective, without a team like ExoAtlet this industry would develop at a must slower pace both in Russia and abroad."
Click here for a detailed photo report on the symposium.