from the June 2017 issue

UPnRIDE: Helping paraplegics stand tall

If driving is something most of us take for granted, walking is even more so. But in the US alone, there are nearly 250,000 individuals with spinal cord injuries that partially or entirely inhibit regular motor functions. For them, standing and walking around freely remains the stuff of dreams.

UPnRIDE, a revolutionary new Segway-like device that allows quadriplegics to stand up and move around almost anywhere, is poised to change the life of thousands of paralyzed people around the globe.

The Israeli device was developed by Dr. Amit Goffer, who already founded the revolutionary exoskeleton ReWalk, which enables paraplegics to walk and climb stairs. His new device will help quadriplegics (people paralyzed from the neck down) to stand and be mobile.

Goffer, who is himself confined to a wheelchair, has been working on a more comprehensive solution over the past three years. Similar to a stand-up Segway or an electric scooter, the patented UPnRIDE moves over different kinds of terrains with the user's guidance, using a joystick operated by hand or by mouth. Automatic balancing assures a safe ride uphill, downhill, and on slanted surfaces, in both standing and sitting positions.

"Being able to stand and move is extremely important for people's physiological health and their dignity," Goffer says. According to him, the UPnRIDE reduces secondary complications of long-term sitting, lowering the need for hospitalization, medications and physiotherapy.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report June 2017

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