Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Apogee+ exoskeleton helps nursing staff lift and move elderly patients

Due to challenging work conditions, healthcare and nursing workers experience enormous stress and health-threatening physical workload in their daily work with patients. The seriousness of these challenges was highlighted during the pandemic and drove the trend toward early retirement of the health care and nursing workers from the profession.

To overcome this problem, the robotics company German Bionic has introduced Apogee+, a powered exoskeleton that acts as a personal lift assist, specifically addressing the safety and job satisfaction issues of healthcare workers.

The Apogee+ has a small, lightweight, and slim design, allowing it to flexibly adapt to the different movements of caregivers and be worn in various environments typically found in clinics and other healthcare facilities.

Apogee+ provides active support during lifting and walking. Moreover, it is integrated with the grips on the exoskeleton to make lifting and repositioning patients easy. The exoskeleton offers up to 66 pounds (30 kg) of back relief per lift, simplifying daily care tasks.

Apogee+ is IP54 waterproof rated, which results in greater flexibility when washing or showering patients. Further, by adopting a monocoque as the outer framework, the Apogee+ has less surface area for bacteria and germs to accumulate, making it easier to disinfect, an essential aspect of healthcare environments.

With its soft appearance and lighter colors, the Apogee+ represents an emotionally accessible and patient-friendly appearance. Also, it features extensive reporting functions to help caregivers set up and manage their workplace.

Apogee+ Exoskeleton for healthcare workers.
Apogee+ Exoskeleton for healthcare workers. to help elderly patients. Credit: German Bionic.

“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,” says Armin G. Schmidt, CEO and founder of German Bionic. “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 U.S.”  

In addition to providing numerous practical benefits, equipping caregivers with cutting-edge wearable tools is a powerful testament to the value that care facilities place on their workforce.

“State-of-the-art equipment significantly contributes to making nursing and care professions more appealing,” says Norma Steller, Chief Product Officer at German Bionic. “And therefore, it aids hospitals and care facilities in their pursuit of attracting and retaining a qualified and motivated workforce.”

According to the company, recent data results indicate that this type of powered exoskeleton wearable technology provides flexible and reliable support to nursing staff, effectively reducing the daily workload on their wards. This contrasts with the limited use of existing equipment, such as lifting cranes, or fully automated methods, such as nursing robots.

Apogee+ wearable technology aims to redefine the landscape of support for caregivers—developing areas of enhanced well-being and sustainable work conditions for nursing and care professionals.

Using this technology, healthcare professionals can provide patients with the best possible care, with enhanced safety and reduced physical stress, thereby reducing the risk of resulting injuries.

Apogee+ helps nursing staff with their daily tasks on the ward including lifting and moving patients, lifting from beds to wheelchairs, assisting with medical examinations, lifting during washing and changing, assisting in positioning and comforting immobile patients.

Apogee+ is developed according to the latest findings in nursing research— German Bionic partners with renowned healthcare institutions, including Charité Berlin and BG Unfallklinikum Murnau hospitals.

The exoskeleton has officially been introduced to the North American healthcare market. German Bionic offers flexible purchase and leasing options for deploying exoskeleton solutions in nursing and care facilities.