MEDICA 2023: German Bionic presents first power suit specifically designed to support caregivers

The active Apogee+ exoskeleton relieves the strain of lifting and moving persons in need of care and helps to tackle the shortage of skilled workers in hospitals and care facilities.

Berlin, November 6, 2023 | Innovative concepts are needed in these times of acute nursing care crisis. Berlin-based robotics specialist German Bionic has developed the actively powered Apogee+ exosuit for safer, healthier and more sustainable working conditions in the care professions. Designed on the basis of the latest findings in nursing research, it is optimally equipped for use in day-to-day patient care. The Apogee+ relieves caregivers when lifting and walking, is comfortable to wear, protected against dust and water according to IP54 and fulfils specific criteria for use in healthcare environments: it can be easily disinfected, has grips for patients to take hold of and also features a safe, patient-friendly design. The Apogee+ can be experienced live and tested first-hand from November 13 to 16 at MEDICA 2023 in Düsseldorf, Germany, in Hall 10 / A09.

Flexible support for a wide range settings in day-to-day nursing care

Numerous scenarios in the daily work of caregivers require substantial lifting and moving. This includes tasks such as transferring patients between beds and wheelchairs, facilitating medical examinations, aiding in bathing and changing procedures, repositioning immobile patients, and assisting in their transition to a more comfortable or upright position.

“Without adequate support, all these tasks are hazardous to health in the medium to long term and can lead to care workers leaving the profession prematurely,” says Armin G. Schmidt, founder and CEO of German Bionic. “This circumstance is neither socially nor economically acceptable in times of an acute shortage of skilled nursing staff.” The Apogee+ provides relief for the back by compensating up to 66 pounds (30 kilograms) of weight per lifting movement. It also delivers ergonomic support. This is particularly important for caregivers as due to the nature of their work, often perform certain tasks in awkward, non-ergonomic, bent-over postures. For these situations, the Apogee+ provides support in the so-called counterforce mode.

Alleviation of strain, protection of health and increased safety

Care professionals need exoskeletons that are adapted to their specific conditions and enable an optimal degree of harmony between the human being and the machine – not only to ensure maximum safety, but also to gain the greatest level of acceptance among the care recipients. For this reason, the Apogee+ was developed on the basis of the latest findings from nursing research. As an example, unlike other exoskeletons with exposed mechanical parts, the Apogee+ features a unique closed design, ensuring full protection against injury. It stands as the only genuinely patient-safe device of its kind. German Bionic works with renowned healthcare institutions such as Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and BG Unfallklinikum Murnau.

Appreciation and a more attractive image of nursing as a profession

Besides the immediate practical benefits it delivers, equipping nurses with state-of-the-art wearable tools like the Apogee+ is a clear statement of the value that a care facility places on its staff. The technical support can thereby also be helpful in recruiting new nurses or in winning back those who worked in the field in the past. It makes the nursing profession more appealing and therefore helps hospitals and care facilities to attract and retain qualified and motivated workers.

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