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ReWalk Robotics Announces Reimbursement by German Social Accident Insurance Institution
BGHM Provides Personal Exoskeleton System to Beneficiary Paralyzed in 2007 German Social Accident Insurance Institution
Berlin, Germany—ReWalk Robotics announced today that the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the woodworking and metalworking industries (Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall, BGHM) has approved reimbursement for a ReWalk Personal System for one of its beneficiaries. This marks the first such reimbursement by the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions.
The recipient, Olaf Schepp, is a 42-year-old father from Saarland. In 2007, Schepp was involved in a motor bike accident, suffering a complete spinal cord injury to his T4 vertebrate which left him paralyzed. Since his accident, Schepp has been relegated to a wheelchair; he is very active in the wheelchair basketball sporting community in Germany. Schepp began training on the ReWalk in July 2014, completing his training on the system in August. “It is wonderful to have a ReWalk System of my own to use at home and in my community,” he said. “My goal is to use the ReWalk as an essential mobile device in my daily life so I can once again be walking just like everyone else on the street.”
“It is nowadays not only the medical benefit of an aids which is of importance. Services enabling the participation in the life of the society are of growing significance. I was there when Olaf Schepp tested the ReWalk for the first time. It was a very moving moment to see Olaf Schepp being overwhelmed while standing upright, taking his first steps and, above all, to be able to look into the eyes of all people sharing this wonderful and great moment with him,“ said Melanie Mayer, regional administration manager of the BGHM.
The German Social Accident Insurance Institutions provide insurance coverage for more than 42 million individuals in Germany, who work for more than 3 million companies nationwide. The German Social Accident Insurance Institutions are divided into nine different occupation groups, with each branch of industry providing coverage for its own workers. The BGHM is the Professional Association for the Wood and Metal Industry in Germany. The BGHM provides coverage for 4.5 million workers across 213,000 companies in this sector of the economy.
“The reimbursement by the BGHM is an important development for the spinal cord injured community in Germany,” said ReWalk Robotics CEO and Managing Director Larry Jasinski. “We are glad to work with the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions in providing this life changing technology to all those who are qualified to own their own exoskeleton system, and are encouraged to see German insurers creating policies to reimburse these systems for beneficiaries.”
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk. The system provides user-initiated mobility through the integration of a wearable brace support, a computer-based control system and motion sensors. The system allows independent, controlled walking while mimicking the natural gait patterns of the legs. ReWalk is the only exoskeleton system cleared by the FDA for both personal use as well as use in a rehabilitation setting in the United States. ReWalk has also received regulatory clearances for their systems in several global geographies including: North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Schepp is using his ReWalk Personal System at home and in community since September 2014. Attached is a photo of Schepp training with his ReWalk system.
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