It is an innovative exoskeleton whose technology has been developed entirely in Spain by the CSIC. Its main characteristic is the artificial muscle, which imitates the functioning of natural tissues. Currently, the use of a physiotherapist is necessary for its use and placement.
“The exoskeleton adapts automatically to each of the children. This study has allowed us to greatly improve the ergonomics of the device when used in patients with different characteristics, “says Elena García, creator of the exoskeleton.
The objective of this study has been to test the psychological benefits and improvement in the quality of life of children thanks to this technology that allows them to stand and walk independently.
The last phase of the clinical trial consisted of testing the infant exoskeleton for two months in the home of three children with spinal muscular atrophy, integrating the device into their day-to-day activities.
The parents and the doctor
“The use of the exoskeleton has allowed our son to exercise more, try new games and even dance at home. This device has achieved what doctors said would never happen when they diagnosed SMA with 14 months, and is that a child with spinal muscular atrophy is “, emphasizes Ana, the mother of one of the participants of the clinical trial.
According to Dr. Gustavo Lorenzo, “children feel really excited about being able to walk, they want their friends to see how they are able to stand and walk. In the long term, this instrument can facilitate a child and his family to normalize their life in such a way that they can attend their daily activities, such as walking to school and not in a wheelchair.
In the future, it could provide the benefits of standing, helping to delay the deformities of the spine derived from the posture that occur in spinal muscular atrophy. “
Commitment to rare diseases
Spinal muscular atrophy affects one in 6,000 children in Spain and causes muscle weakness that prevents them from standing upright. SMA type 2 is diagnosed between seven and 18 months of age and children who suffer from it never get to walk.
“The research project that we decided to finance sought to greatly improve the quality of life of these children, allowing them something as fundamental as being able to walk, and also trying to develop new skills. And judging by the first conclusions of the study, it has been achieved “, highlights Lorenzo Cooklin, general director of the Mutua Madrileña Foundation.