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Exoskeleton: Robot-Like Treatments that Heal

From the Show: Health Radio
Summary: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta becomes the first pediatric hospital to use exoskeleton.
Air Date: 7/1/15
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Joshua Vova, MD
Joshua VovaDr. Joshua Vova is the Medical Director for Rehabilitation Services at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Practice Manager for Children's Rehabilitation Associates, as well the fellowship director for the Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine fellowship with Emory University and CHOA.

He is a board certified in Pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pediatric rehabilitation medicine, and brain injury medicine. He completed his Medical Degree at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency at the Albert Einstein/Jacobi Medical Center in New York.

Dr. Vova completed his physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and his pediatric rehabilitation medicine fellowship at The Children's Hospital University of Colorado.
Exoskeleton: Robot-Like Treatments that Heal
In an effort to remain a leading specialist in pediatric rehabilitation, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is the first pediatric hospital in the U.S. to offer patients enhanced neuro-rehabilitation services through the use of Ekso Bionics' patented technology.

Children's is incorporating Ekso—a wearable robot or "exoskeleton"— into its Center for Advanced Technology and Robotic Rehabilitation to continue offering the latest technology to help children and teens recover from injuries or disorders that have hindered their motor skills.

The exoskeleton enables patients with lower-extremity paralysis or weakness to stand and walk with minimal assistance. Using motors and sensors, along with the patient's assistance with balance and positioning, the exoskeleton allows the child to walk over ground with an efficient, repetitive gait pattern, helping the body re-learn proper step pattern and weight shifts.

The exoskeleton can provide therapists with immediate feedback from each step the patient takes, showing how much work the machine is doing vs. how much work the child is doing.

Neuroplasticity is the adaptive capacity of the central nervous system to respond to repeated changes in stimuli, which it may do by reorganizing its structure, function or neural connections. This can help patients recovering from stroke, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries to learn to walk again, with a proper gait pattern which may help to minimize compensatory behaviors.

Joshua Vova, MD, joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss exoskeleton treatment and the many benefits it provides.