Shepherd Center Begins the Final Stage of its Clinical Trials for Robotics-Assisted Walking Device

Shepherd Center is the lead clinical partner in the critical final stage of trials for a robotics-assisted walking device that could improve the lives of people with limited mobility caused by spinal cord or brain injury, stroke or multiple sclerosis.

Developer Parker Hannifin Corp. describes the exoskeleton device – called Indego – as a “powered orthosis worn around the waist and legs that allows individuals with spinal cord injuries to stand and walk.”

Clare Hartigan describes it as revolutionary. “People who haven’t seen it don’t believe it,” says Hartigan, PT, MPT, Shepherd Center project manager and clinical research coordinator for Indego. Hartigan recently watched a 19-year-old with complete quadriplegia – someone whose motion is limited to only being able to bend his elbows and extend his wrists – use Indego to walk for more than an hour at Shepherd Center. The participant also has no ability to move his hands, trunk or legs.

“He covered one-third of a mile,” Hartigan says. “He walked inside, he got on and off an elevator, he walked outside around our garden, he walked up ramps and over grass and a sidewalk.

“I have been a PT at Shepherd Center for 25 years,” she adds. “There is no other way you could possibly have a person with such a high level of complete spinal cord injury able to walk as far and on as many different surfaces, other than with the help of Indego.” Indego has huge potential for improving the health and mobility options for people with spinal cord injury and other disorders such as stroke, brain injury and multiple sclerosis, Hartigan notes.

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The second clinical trial will begin in September 2014 (it was originally scheduled to begin July 2014). Trial sites include Shepherd Center and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; Kessler Foundation/Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J.; Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, N.Y. and Craig Hospital in Denver, Colo. These institutions will work in concert with Shepherd Center, which will continue as Parker’s lead rehabilitation center for clinical testing of the device. Participants must have a spinal cord injury to be a part of this trial.

Please register at our clinical trials intake site below. If you are selected to be further evaluated for trials, a member of the Indego team will contact you directly.

If you have already registered, rest assured we have received your information. However, due to the volume of submissions, the Indego team cannot contact each respondent. Please do not contact us to inquire whether you have been selected. If you are selected, we will contact you.

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