Robotics company debuts exoskeleton for healthcare workers

Robotics company debuts exoskeleton for healthcare workers

October 02, 2023

In a pioneering move, a robotics company has unveiled an exoskeleton tailored to support healthcare workers, shedding light on a profession often overlooked despite its paramount importance. This groundbreaking device addresses the daily challenges faced by nurses and medical staff, challenges that laypersons may not readily comprehend.

German Bionic, a European robotics firm, has introduced the Apogee+, possibly the world's first exoskeleton specifically crafted for healthcare professionals. While exoskeletons have traditionally targeted industrial workers and individuals with disabilities, this innovation recognises the unique demands of the healthcare sector.

The physical toll borne by nurses and doctors is significant and often underestimated by the general public. Healthcare professionals frequently contend with tasks that involve prolonged walking, extended periods of standing, and the lifting of heavy loads, including patients. The challenges escalated during the pandemic, contributing to a surge in early retirements within the healthcare industry.

To confront these formidable challenges, the Apogee+ steps in, aiding healthcare workers in numerous ways. It enables easier walking and provides support for lifting weights of up to 66 pounds (30 kilograms). Unique rear grips facilitate patient support, allowing medical professionals to assist immobile patients, transfer them to and from wheelchairs, perform examinations, and execute other tasks that often require uncomfortable postures.

The exoskeleton comprises a device that envelops the wearer's sides and back, with strategically placed straps on the thighs and a vest that covers the torso. The slim and ergonomic design prioritises comfort, ensuring that healthcare workers can perform their duties without unnecessary discomfort. Read more about robots programmed for house chores.

The Apogee+ sets itself apart through a monocoque-based design that minimises surface area compared to other exoskeletons. This feature enhances resistance to germs and bacteria, streamlining the essential cleaning and disinfection procedures crucial in healthcare settings. Moreover, German Bionic has engineered the device to be dust-resistant and waterproof, adhering to IP54 standards, enabling healthcare workers to wear it even during patient cleaning procedures.

German Bionic aspires to make the healthcare profession more appealing, aiding hospitals in their recruitment and retention efforts, particularly after the formidable challenges posed by the pandemic. The company plans to showcase the Apogee+ at the MEDICA medical trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, from November 13-16. While pricing details are not publicly disclosed, German Bionic emphasises flexible lease and purchase options, with potential financial assistance available in select markets.

This innovative exoskeleton marks a significant step towards recognising and addressing the unique physical needs of healthcare workers among other custom software needs possibly undertaken by AI, underscoring their vital role in society's well-being. With the Apogee+, healthcare heroes are poised to face their demanding tasks with newfound support and comfort.