Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Vodafone IoT SIM powers exoskeleton to help stroke patients

Steve Rogerson
June 14, 2016
 
A Vodafone IoT SIM is connecting an exoskeleton that is FDA cleared for use with both stroke patients and spinal cord injuries – the Ekso GT from Ekso Bionics. Vodafone's network and global IoT SIM aims to ensure reliable communications for diagnostics and improved access to patient data, helping to improve the user experience with the suit.
 
Robotic exoskeletons are ready to wear, battery-powered robots that are strapped over the users' clothing, enabling individuals to achieve mobility, strength or endurance not otherwise possible.
 
"The internet of things is enabling all types of medical devices to be connected anywhere in the world, which is directly affecting the care that patients are receiving,” said Vodafone Group's head of IoT for the Americas Andrew Morawski. “The focus that Ekso Bionics has on helping stroke and spinal cord injury patients to increase mobility is making a significant impact on the quality of life for its users."
 
The Ekso GT can provide adaptive amounts of power to either side of the patient's body, helping to improve results for patients. The suit allows physical therapists to mobilise patients earlier, more frequently and with a greater number of high intensity steps, all which will aid recovery.
 
"We are in business to help people achieve the remarkable, and we can do this most effectively with best in class partners," said Thomas Looby, California-based Ekso Bionics' chief executive officer. “We chose Vodafone to provide a single global solution that ensures seamless connectivity, no matter where a rehabilitation hospital is located. With Vodafone IoT technology, we can monitor how our exoskeletons are performing in real time, providing therapists with data on how the patients' rehabilitation is progressing."
 
Ekso Bionics has been able to simplify its manufacturing process by using the same Vodafone SIM for all suits globally as well as having a single worldwide partner delivering a managed service. Ekso GT is available in the USA, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and most European countries. It is offered in more than 150 rehabilitation institutions around the world and has helped enable its users to take more than 50 million steps not otherwise possible.