July 02, 2014      

Argo Medical Technologies, maker of the ReWalk motorized exoskeleton, is working with Jefferies LLC on an initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S, reports Bloomberg. The Israel-based company will look to raise $40-50 million for a listing in 2014 on a valuation of $250-300 million. The Argo IPO is another sign of the growing exoskeleton market. A recent study from ResearchMoz called “Worldwide Rehabilitation Robots, Active Prostheses, and Exoskeletons Market 2014 Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts 2020,” forecasts the rehabilitation robot market to grow from $43.3 million to $1.8 billion by 2020. And a report from ABI Research has projected the overall market for exoskeletons could reach $292 million by the year 2020.

This webcast and research report offer an in-depth look at healthcare robotics: what’s driving the industry, its leaders, critical issues, the investment climate, as well as new and emerging robotic care and healing innovations for 2014 and beyond, including surgical robotics, prosthetics, motor skills rehabilitation, mental and cognitive therapy, patient monitoring, and ingested capsules/endoscopy. Register Now!
2014 Webcast Schedule

In March, 2014, exoskeleton manufacturer Cyberdyne of Tsukuba, Japan debuted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Mothers market for startups. Cyberdyne, a 2013 RBR50 company based in Tsukuba, provided 10.85 million shares, and the stock price reached a high of 10,010 yen before closing the day up 159 percent. Argo, which has offices in the U.S., Germany, and Israel, is backed by investors including SCP Vitalife Partners, Pontifax Venture Capital Fund, OurCrowd, Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd., and Yaskawa Electric Corp.

ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton Receives FDA Approval

The IPO news comes on the heels of the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton being approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Created in 2001 by Argo founder Amit Goffer, who is a quadriplegic due to an ATV accident in 1997, the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton, which was already available throughout Europe, consists of leg braces, motorized joints and motion sensors that correct for changes in balance and movement. The $69,500 robotic device is worn over the legs and part of the upper body to help an individual sit, stand, and walk with assistance from a trained companion. It weighs 46 pounds, supporting its own weight, and has metal braces, a motor, and a 5-pound backpack that houses the computer and battery. Users wear a wrist device that has buttons on it that can engage three modes: standing, sitting and walking. The exoskeleton’s computer runs on Windows and delivers the control signals.

The battery currently is designed to support a full day of intermittent walking. If the user walks non-stop, the battery will last three to four hours. “Innovative devices such as ReWalk go a long way towards helping individuals with spinal cord injuries gain some mobility,” says Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Along with physical therapy, training and assistance from a caregiver, these individuals may be able to use these devices to walk again in their homes and in their communities.” ReWalk is designed for users between 5-foot-3 and 6-foot-3 with a weight limit of 220 pounds. Before FDA approval, the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton could only be used in a hospital. Now the exoskeleton only requires in-hospital training. ReWalk also makes a Rehabilitation model of the exoskeleton that is designed for the clinical rehabs and has been deployed for several years in centers across Europe, Israel and the US.