Ekaterina Bereziy (ExoAtlet): Locomotion Restoration Made In Luxembourg
ExoAtlet’s robotic exoskeletons are already restoring locomotion to adults and children who have lost movement through serious illness or injury. But ExoAtlet’s CEO, Ekaterina Bereziy, plans to use artificial intelligence to enhance performance as well as new models to help those lifting heavy loads in industrial environments to avoid spinal injuries.
Can you describe ExoAtlet in a few words?
We are an international team developing and manufacturing exoskeletons for rehabilitation and training for markets in the US, Europe and Asia. Exoskeleton models like our ExoAtlet II are already helping people recover their ability to walk if their have suffered from stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries. Our dream is to use medical data to assist medical professionals to improve current methods of rehabilitation to restore locomotion functions in years or even months. We build up an ecosystem based in hospitals and create an outpatient service to provide patients with ongoing training to maximize their chances of walking by themselves again.
“Our dream is to use medical data to assist medical professionals to improve current methods of rehabilitation to restore locomotion functions in years or even months.”
What obstacles did you encounter in your development process and how did you overcome them?
We began developing our concept when robotic technology was in its infancy. Since 2014 we have developed more than ten different exoskeletons, first for adults but we are the first company to create exoskeletons for children and now for the elderly too. Some concepts don’t work, or the market is unprepared for new ideas. That means we have to develop the medical messaging and teach doctors how to work with the technology and the ecosystem that we create around our products. Exoskeletons must be safe and comfortable for patients. Doctors and physical trainers with whom patients work must also feel at ease with the devices and ecosystem. It has taken a lot of clinical trials to prove new methods are efficient, but we have been able to present our results at scientific conferences to demonstrate the standards and processes to which clinicians will need to work.
How do you see ExoAtlet evolve in the next five years?
During the next five years we will collect data from our patients during the rehabilitation process. Using artificial intelligence, we will combine the clinical and the biomechanical data to gain a very clear and digitalized understanding of the progress they are making in regaining movement. This will allow us to predict a patient’s rehabilitation potential. The information will be valuable not only in product development, but for insurance companies and doctors by allowing for the personalization of treatment by predicting how much training patients will require. One of our projects is to associate rehabilitation with gyms or fitness centres close to patients’ homes so they can work on recovery daily or a number of times a week. We are starting to work in a different field - in manufacturing sites. We are developing an exoskeleton that workers will use when moving heavy loads to help protect their spinal cords. Our mission is to save the health of people who do a lot of heavy lifting and to return the people who have lost their ability to work to normal life and to the economy.