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Hit by a Boulder from 30 Feet Above, Patient Learning How to Walk Again at TGH

Innovation in Inpatient Care: Utilizing Ekso Bionics Exoskelton to reach Recovery

Tampa General Hospital (TGH) is poised to be on the frontier of inpatient rehabilitation services through the use of wearable robotic exoskeletons produced by Ekso Bionics®. Further, TGH plans to expand their services by offering the first free-standing inpatient rehabilitation hospital in the state. It is currently under construction and is part of a joint business venture between Tampa General and Kindred Healthcare.

The New Frontier: Robot Technology

A highly interdisciplinary team of physicians and specialists work hard to optimize patients’ recovery at TGH. In addition to the highly trained staff, TGH offers some of the most cutting-edge technology in rehabilitation services by offering patients access to Ekso Bionics Exoskeletons for physical therapy and neurorehabilitation. EksoNR™ is a wearable robot that fits over a patient’s body and is designed to enhance the stability, mobility and strength of people who have suffered a range of health concerns from strokes to spinal cord injuries. Small motors at the body’s joints (hips, ankles, and knees) can be customized to provide more or less assistance based on a patients’ needs. This piece of technology has enabled patients to regain their ability to walk and move toward self-independence. Ekso Bionic Esoskeletons are the only robotic suit approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).1 TGH is thrilled to offer this advanced piece of assistive technology as part of their holistic rehabilitation services.

The Schuy is the Limit

Yale Alumni, Schuyler Arakawa is one of many exceptional rehabilitation success stories at TGH. After a tragic accident while traveling abroad in 2016, Schulyer endured significant trauma to her body and brain. Despite all odds, Schuyler survived and began her journey to recovery with the help of her TGH physical therapists and Ekso robotic exoskeleton. The technology allowed her to retrain her brain to remember how to walk again by activating the muscle memory she had lost after being in a vegetative state for months. It is anticipated there will be other success stories like Schuyler’s with the expansion of capacity with TGH and Kindred Healthcare’s new rehabilitation hospital.

Rehabilitation needs are at an all-time High

As stated by John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General, “the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for inpatient rehabilitation services”. The urgent needs of the community at large has been magnified as people recover from extensive time in intensive care due to COVID-19. Tampa General Hospital is expected to open its doors to their new rehabilitation hospital in February, 2022.

Standard of Excellence

Tampa General Hospital currently operates an inpatient rehabilitation facility accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In 2021, TGH was awarded one of Newsweek America’s Best Physical Rehabilitation Centers in the country. This award was based on metrics such as quality of service and care as well as accommodations. In addition, Tampa General Hospital is both regionally and nationally ranked as one of the country’s best hospitals.