Can you as a VA Therapist screen and bring Veterans through the Indego Personal training process without having an Indego Therapy device at your site? The answer is YES!
Here is your step-by-step guide:
Indego Personal offers people with mobility impairments a new level of independence. Its modular design allows for increased ease of putting on and taking off the device without assistance. At just 26 lb, the Indego Personal is the lightest commercial exoskeleton available. Previous research has found that there are roughly 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the United States each year with about 44% of these injuries resulting in paraplegia.1 For these individuals, the ability to walk and stand is one of the highest mobility concerns.1 Since the development of the Indego, our team has been dedicated to reaching these individuals and we want to make it easy for them to trial the device. Because of this, we have designed a step-by-step guide to make screening Veterans at a VA easy for the Veterans, Therapists, and Physicians even when the specific VA does not own an Indego Therapy device. This easy step-by-step process is outlined below, which will allow more of your interested Veterans to trial the Indego.
Step 1: Veteran demonstrates interest in Indego for personal use
Step 2: Veteran is pre-screened for Indego and evaluated at VA SCI/D
Each Veteran who is interested in the Indego Personal must be evaluated by their SCI/D and meet the VA’s requirements to pursue a personal device. Veteran must meet the indications specific for the Indego, and have no contraindications.
Step 3: A screening day is scheduled
This screening day is performed by an Indego team therapist and is coordinated with the VA therapists. Prior to the Indego team therapist going to the VA site, a prep call is performed to ensure the Veteran meets the criteria and to review the schedule. On the screening day, the Veteran participates in four total hours of training, (2x2 hour blocks). During this time, the Veteran is measured, fitted and trials the Indego. If the Veteran is appropriate for a personal use device, a support person is identified and both the Veteran and their support person agree to participate in the personal use training program.
Step 4: Training
Once the Veteran and support person agree to participate in the personal use training program, the Indego Team will schedule an Indego Specialist Training session for the VA therapists. This training will be at no cost to the VA. A start date will be identified for when the personal use training program will begin. From that date, the VA therapist team will have approximately 30 days to take the Veteran through 30-40 hours of training. During this time, a loaner device is provided to the VA. This training is provided with the support person in order to prepare the team for a competency check off. The Indego team therapist will return to the VA to perform this check off.
Step 5: Home trial
Following successful completion of the competency check off, the Veteran will perform a 45-day home trial. During this time, the VA PT will follow-up with the Veteran and monitor device use via session reports that the Veteran sends. Once the Veteran successfully completes the home trial, a purchase order is issued and a new customized Indego Personal device will be delivered to the VA for the Veteran to keep.
The goal is for this to be a seamless process for VA hospitals that currently do not own an Indego and to allow more interested Veterans the opportunity to trial the device. To date, over 50% of the VA SCI/D Centers own an Indego or have screened Veterans for an Indego Personal.
Contact us today for more information and to schedule a screening day at your VA!
1. Farris RJ, Quintero HA, Goldfarb M. Preliminary evaluation of a powered lower limb orthosis to aid walking in paraplegic individuals. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2011;19(6):652-9.
This article was contributed by Dr. Jen Tschoepe, PT, DPT, NCS, Janz Corporation. Jen is an Indego Instructor with the Janz Corporation, A Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado in 2010, and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Regis University in 2014. After completion of her Doctorate, Jen went on to Boston University to complete a Post-Doctoral Neurological Residency Program and became a certified neurologic clinical specialist (NCS) in 2016. Since then, Jen has been focused on working with patients with neurological conditions. Now as an Indego Instructor, Jen works with clinicians and patients around the US educating on the use and benefits of the Indego exoskeleton.