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Robotic Exoskeleton Prevents Elderly Falls

Scientists unveiled a lightweight, robotic, outer “skeleton” Thursday that can detect when someone loses their balance, correct their gait, and prevent their fall.

Designed to limit stumbles among the elderly, the device has sensors that can discern in real time when a limb starts to buckle or flail, and lightweight motors which exert instant force on both legs to restore balance.

“Wearable machines that enhance your movement and endurance no longer belong to the realm of science fiction,” the device’s creators said in a statement.

According to the World Health Organization, falls are the second cause of death from accidental or unintentional injuries worldwide.

Every year, more than 420,000 people die from falls — most of those are older than 65.

Nearly 40 million falls that require medical attention are reported annually, says the WHO, and this number is likely to skyrocket as people live to become ever older.

Dubbed the Active Pelvis Orthosis or APO, the new device could also help disabled people and amputees, said its designers from the Scuola Sant’Anna, an Italian University, and Switzerland’s EPFL polytechnical school.

“It’s technology that will actually help people with their daily activities,” they added.

The team published the results of their lab experiments in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

The “exoskeleton” is worn from the waist down, its creators explained, “and is vastly different from the armoured stuff you see in today’s science fiction movies”.

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It is attached to a belt worn around the middle that holds small motors at the hips, and soft braces strapped to the thighs.

The device weighs about five kilogrammes (11 pounds), can be easily adjusted to a person’s individual height and girth, and does not interfere with normal walking, the team said.

The “assistive mode” is activated only when balance loss is detected.

“The robotic exoskeleton is able to identify an unexpected slippage and counteract it,” Peppino Tropea, one of the study authors, told AFP.

The APO “increases stiffness at hip joints against limb movements, indeed, the slipping leg is slowed down, while the other one is forced towards the ground. This strategy is effective for balance recovery.”

Tropea and the rest of the team tested their creation on eight elderly people and two amputees with prosthetic limbs — two groups particularly vulnerable to potentially devastating falls.

They were made to walk on a treadmill with a platform that would unexpectedly slip sideways, causing the walker to lose balance.

Repeated tests showed that the device “effectively” aided balance recovery, the paper reported.

“I feel more confident when I wear the exoskeleton,” a statement quoted 69-year-old Fulvio Bertelli, one of the trial participants, as saying.

A video explaining the invention can be watched here:

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The information herein on "Robotic Exoskeleton Prevents Elderly Falls" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Robotic Exoskeleton Prevents Elderly Falls" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

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