Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Rebuilding Lives With New Technology


We sit on the precipice of amazing technologies, and we are just scratching the surface of the immense potential they can deliver.

Here's how it works: FES applies small pulses to paralyzed muscles, which in turn causes them to contract and relax. The process can improve bone density and circulation, as well as strengthen muscles.

Fact is, lack of mobility can give the wheelchair-bound serious issues with their urinary, respiratory, and digestive systems, among other problems. So the Vanderbilt device not only provides patients with newfound freedom, but it also can improve their health.

In this case, I believe Parker Hannifin could have a winner on its hands. No doubt, it's looking at a big market. The US alone has more than 230,000 people living with spinal-cord injuries. About 155,000 of them are paraplegics. It costs well over $1 million to treat each patient over a lifetime.

It's hard to say what the market could be worth, but Thomson Reuters reported that ABI Research forecast a market of $320 million for bionic exoskeletons within ten years. One thing's for certain: This is a fast-moving field.

There's also Agro Medical Technologies of Israel. It's now selling a version of its ReWalk unit for personal use in Europe. In the US, the ReWalk is approved for use in rehab clinics, but permission for home use is pending.

And back in May, I told you about Ekso Bionics of Berkeley, Calif. The firm began with funding from a research arm of the Pentagon, and now has its bionic suits working at several US rehab centers.

As I see it, the fact that three firms have entered this field is a great sign of progress. It means we are reaching critical mass in our bid to restore motion to people with serious spinal injuries.

This is one of the reasons I love to write about the Era of Radical Change. It seems that every day I come across another new advance that has the potential not just to change the world but to improve people's lives on the most basic level.

I pay especially close attention to the field of spinal-cord injuries for a deeply personal reason. When I was 19 or 20, I was out on my motorcycle one day when I came upon the scene of a crash involving another motorcycle. As fate would have it, I knew the crash victim. Chris and I had been friends since junior high. He survived, but lost the use of his legs because of trauma to the spine. He's been confined to a wheelchair his whole adult life.

So don't be surprised if in the near future you see my friend Chris walking down the street in his own robotic suit.

Editor's Note: This article was written by Michael A. Robinson of Money Morning.

Below, find some more great investing and trading content from MoneyShow:

Midcaps Are Where the Action Is

Two Hot Value Stocks to Pick Up

Earnings Deliver a Buy and a Sell

Twitter: @TopProsTopPicks
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos