Business Medical

SCI-FIT, Rise of the Private Rehabilitation Centers?


When it comes to discussing exoskeletons for rehabilitation there are usually two possibilities: hospital or home use.  Patients can be brought to a hospital, equipped with exoskeleton rehabilitation devices and staffed with trained medical professionals.  In the second option, patients may purchase an exoskeleton device for home use.   The patient and the primary caregivers must be trained in the proper equipment operations such as recovering from a fall.  An alternative has become available in Pleasanton and Sacramento CA, USA in the form of the SCI-FIT.

SCI-FIT, or Spinal Cord Injury Functional Integrated Therapy is like a modern day commercial gym except that it specializes in injury recovery.  SCI-FIT is privately owned and has trained professionals in rehabilitation technologies.  As of this writing, the business owns at least one Lokomat by Hocoma and one Ekso Bionics suit.  Membership at this rehabilitation institution runs at about $2000/month, however, if upcoming medical trials prove that rehabilitation with exoskeleton suits leads to lower total medical costs it is possible that insurance companies may cover part of the bill.

There might be only a handful privately owned rehabilitation centers with exoskeleton technology in the US at the moment, but this could prove to be a successful business model.  If so, there is the possibility that hundreds of such centers may open or upgrade their current equipment to include exoskeleton devices which would result in the sale of thousands of units.

For more information you may visit the SCI-FIT website.

In addition, KTVU FOX has a stellar news segment highlighting the use of the Ekso Bionics and Lokomat exoskeletons at SCI-FIT:
KTVU -Special rehabilitation center in Pleasanton uses high-tech equipment, by Claudine Wong, 2015 

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