Robotic Legs for Citizens with Partial Paralysis

 
 
 
Today, robotic legs, or so-called exoskeletons, are used for rehabilitation, but can they also be used as an everyday mobility device by partially paralysed citizens?

Background

Citizens with partial paralysis or so-called paraplegia often suffer complications due to the prolonged amounts of hours they spend in wheelchairs. The pressure exerted on the upper part of the human body during sitting may affect lungs, heart and the circulatory system as well as the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. Consequently, many paraplegics struggle with pain and poor health.

 20170613_Robotben til borgere med delvis lammelse

Spinal cord injuries and their consequences do not only cause discomfort, pain and disease among the affected citizens, they may also cause counties and municipalities to incur additional expenses in terms of medicine, doctors' visits, hospitalisations, personal assistance, aids, housing renovations, nursing and free physiotherapy.

 

In selected places, robot legs have already proved to be a successful training tool in the rehabilitation of citizens with paraplegia as these patients have experienced reduced nerve pain; reduced urinary tract infections; increased circulation and drainage of lymph fluid; increased balance and flexibility in joints; increased muscle mass.

 
Purpose/Vision

Aarhus Municipality wishes, in this Patient@home project, to investigate whether it is possible to achieve some of the same effects by using robotic legs as a daily assistive device and thereby improve the health and quality of life of the citizens involved and also streamline the running of the municipality in the long run.

 

Project Activities:

  • Phase 1: The citizen selects and tests the technology. In addition, pre-measurements of the health of the citizen are made.
  • Phase 2: The citizen is trained in the use of the robotic legs before the trial starts.
  • Phase 3: Subsequent evaluation together with the citizen and repetition of measurements from Phase 1.

 

Aarhus Municipality has already launched one project about testing of robotic legs, so this project will be an extension of the ongoing project which means that it will be possible to achieve data from two different citizens. The goals and the evaluation method of the two projects will be the same, the only difference is the starting point of the citizens' use of the robotic legs.

 

Expected Results 

The project will investigate the possibilities and limitations of using the robotic legs in own home. The physiological and psychological effects on the citizen will be described and application criteria and a business case prepared. 

 

The use of robotic legs as an assistive device in own home can probably help to reduce the amount of complications that paraplegics suffer. If that is the case, assumed savings can be achieved on nursing, medicine, therapeutic treatmens, auxiliary schemes and appropriated assistive devices. 

 
Contact PersonMichelle 
                Nielsen

Michelle  Nielsen

Project Manager


Aarhus Kommune

Email:  LOADEMAIL[mini]DOMAIN[aarhus.dk]

Tel:      +45 4185 5650

Partners

Aarhus Kommune

Michelle  Nielsen

Email:  LOADEMAIL[mini]DOMAIN[aarhus.dk]

Tel:      +45 4185 5650

Web:   https://www.aarhus.dk/

Bandagist Jan Nielsen A/S

Peter Matthias  Kolbye

Email:  LOADEMAIL[peter]DOMAIN[bjn.dk]

Tel:      +45 3311 8557

Web:   http://bjn.dk/