Shepherd Center to Lead Clinical Testing of Parker Exoskeleton

Parker Hannifin Corp. has signed an agreement to have Atlanta-based Shepherd Center lead the clinical testing of Indego, an exoskeleton due to be released in 2014.

Vanderbilt University, creator of the exoskeleton that supports and enables users to walk, consulted with Shepherd Center clinicians during the device’s development. Parker Hannifin announced in October that it had licensed the exoskeleton, which it renamed Indego, from Vanderbilt.

In a news announcement, Parker Hannifin said Shepherd Center “will function as the lead rehabilitation center for clinical testing of the device. Shepherd Center will develop clinical protocols for the use of the device, train clinicians at other rehabilitation centers where the device will be used, and monitor clinical trials.”

Parker Hannifin and Shepherd Center would also market the device “subsequent to regulatory approval.”

Craig Maxwell, VP of technology & innovation for Parker Hannifin, said of the collaboration, "Shepherd Center has a world-class reputation in the field of rehabilitation, and we are proud they have chosen to support us in the commercialization of Indego. Shepherd Center is the only rehabilitation facility to have tested Indego and the two other devices currently being marketed by other companies as exoskeletons."

Indego has been lauded by Shepherd Center clinicians for its light weight, functional electrical stimulation, and slim design that enables its users to wear it while in their wheelchairs. Shepherd Center has tested Indego with spinal cord injury patients, but its researchers believe it might also be beneficial for patients with spina bifida, stroke, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy.

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