German Bionic, an exoskeleton developer, has launched its “Apogee+” powered exoskeleton to the North American healthcare market.
Merging cutting-edge robotics with research-backed, data-driven insights, the wearable technology aims to “redefine the landscape of support for caregivers – cultivating a realm of enhanced well-being and sustainable working conditions for nursing and care professionals”, according to German Bionic.
The move into the healthcare space underscores the company’s continued success in industrial settings such as manufacturing and logistics.
Numerous studies have consistently highlighted the immense levels of stress endured by nursing and care staff (often stemming from challenging working conditions), the high amount of physical exertion posing health risks, and an overall lack of appreciation for their vital role.
The gravity of these challenges was further underscored during the pandemic, and continues to drive the trend towards early retirement from the profession.
The user-friendly Apogee+, designed to serve as a “personal lift assist”, specifically addresses these care worker safety and job satisfaction concerns. Key product features include:
- Lifting and walking support: The Apogee+ provides active assistance during lifting and walking, offering up to 66 pounds (30 kg) of back relief per lift; Integrated grips on the exoskeleton enhance ease of lifting and repositioning patients, streamlining daily caregiving tasks.
- Dust and waterproof: The Apogee+ enables greater flexibility such as when washing or showering patients, thanks to being waterproof to IP54.
- High level of wearer comfort: The Apogee+ boasts a small, lightweight, and slim design, allowing it to flexibly adapt to the different movements of caregivers and be worn in the varied environments typically found in clinics and other healthcare facilities.
- “Friendly” design: With its softer form and lighter colors, the Apogee+ exhibits an emotionally accessible and patient-friendly aesthetic.
- Easy to disinfect: By adopting monocoque as the external framework, the Apogee+ has less surface area for bacteria and germs to accumulate. This also makes it easier to disinfect – an essential aspect in healthcare environments.
- Reporting features: Extensive reporting functions help caregivers with the set-up and management of their workplace.
- Flexible procurement models: German Bionic offers favorable purchase and leasing options for the deployment of exoskeleton solutions in nursing and care facilities.
Armin Schmidt, CEO and founder of German Bionic, says: “With its full range of features, our new Apogee+ power suit is designed to help ease the extremely demanding working conditions in these system-critical professions, making the jobs safer and more sustainable.
“Based on our early success in the European market, we firmly believe that our smart exosuits will soon become an indispensable part of everyday practice at health clinics and nursing homes here in the US.”
In addition to delivering numerous practical benefits, equipping caregivers with cutting-edge wearable tools serves as a powerful testament to the value that a care facility places on its employees.
Empowered by this technology, healthcare professionals can provide patients with the best possible care, with enhanced safety and reduced physical strain, consequently lowering the risk of injuries.
Norma Steller, chief product officer at German Bionic, says: “State-of-the-art equipment significantly contributes to making nursing and care professions more appealing.
“And therefore, it aids hospitals and care facilities in their pursuit of attracting and retaining a qualified and motivated workforce.”
The outcomes of recent data indicate that this type of active (powered) exoskeleton wearable technology offers flexible and reliable support to nursing staff, effectively alleviating their daily workload on the ward.
This stands in contrast to the limited utilization of existing devices like lifting cranes or fully automated approaches such as nursing robots.