Three Months of HAL: Dan’s Update

For this week’s blog, we sat down with Daniel to see how he’s progressing after just over three months of using HAL. 

Here’s what he had to say:

How are you doing now, compared to when RoboFit first opened?

I have more energy, I’m stronger within myself and have noticed improvements in my daily living resulting in more independence.

It’s not just an improvement to walking, but actually getting a workout for the whole body. There are so many more moving pieces to the puzzle like upper body strength and conditioning, core strengthening!

Posture is a huge one I’m working on, both at home and in the RoboFit gym.

What's the biggest improvement been for you over the past 4 months?

My experience now after using HAL 5 days per week has changed drastically, At the beginning of my training we did a few different walking tests to get a baseline.     

The 3 tests included:

  • 6 minute walk with forearm frame
  • 10 metre walk test x3 using forearm frame
  • 10 metre walk using forearm frame (unassisted)

My results were close to what I had in mind at the time and from past experiences along my rehab journey and similar tests. 

At the end of a consistent 4 week block of training we re-tested and the results were amazing:

After training, my six minute walking test doubled from 75 to 150 metres, and my unsupported frame walk has caught up to my initial supported walking distance (something Kieran was very excited about!).

What's your goal moving forward?

My current goal is to focus on being able to keep training with HAL to build my muscle strength in my legs and body so I will be able to transition out of my wheelchair and be more independent in a walking frame. 

I still have a lot to focus on with my rehabilitation journey to get where I want to go, such as working on gait patterns, striking with my heel first and getting off standing and walking on the front of my foot.

Has anything unexpected happened?

I’d say my test results were a little unexpected but a very nice surprise, with the use of the HAL training showing results in gait patterns and speeds!

It can feel like there are a lot of plateaus along the way and the journey of spinal cord injury is a slow one and can take some time. A small movement can be a huge win to most and a very exciting one too. 

The local resurgance of COVID-19 has also been an unexpected event – we were on such a high after our official launch at the end of April in Wollongong and near maximum capacity when we had to temporarily limit bookings.

While we still have a handful of local clients coming in to use HAL to achieve their goals it’s a shame we can’t open up just yet to welcome our interstate travellers!

We’re taking this time to train our new staff members in using the HAL technology so that we’re back stronger than ever once the health orders are lifted.

Anything else you'd like to share with the RoboFit community?

We have some new products arriving at RoboFit shortly, keep an eye out for that announcement – we’re all very excited!

From the whole team at RoboFit, we can’t wait to welcome you all back to Australia’s first neuro-controlled exoskeleton centre.

Never Say Never! 

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