Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

What does HAL mean?

HAL stands for Hybrid Assistive Limb.

How does the HAL suit work?

HAL is a gait treatment device intended to temporarily help improve ambulation upon completion of the intervention. HAL must be used with a Body Weight Support system and is not intended for sports or stair climbing. HAL gait treatment is used in conjunction with regular physical therapy.

Can I walk independently with the HAL suit?

No, HAL is only used inside medical facilities while under trained medical supervision and the Body Weight Support system must be used at all times. It is not designed for at-home use and the purpose of the device is to decrease the level of dependency when you are without the HAL suit after completing the treatment program.

Can I buy a HAL suit?

No, HAL is only available at approved medical facilities.

How can I apply for the Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center program?

If you believe you’re an appropriate candidate for the Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page or call (904) 345-7162.

How long is the treatment program?

The program at the Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center consists of 60 daily sessions over three months. (Approximately 12 weeks with five sessions per week)

Is it possible to participate in the program despite some mobility restrictions?

Mobility restrictions do not automatically exclude you from program acceptance. During your clinical assessment, our Medical Director and therapy team will determine if you’re an appropriate participant for the program.

What kind of results can be expected from treatment?

The results are dependent from the patient’s condition. At the beginning of the HAL treatment the individual objectives are discussed together with a physician and a physical therapist. The following results were achieved in different forms:

  • Increased walking speed
  • Reduced amount of assistance needed

 

Secondary observations seen in clinical research include:

  • Improved sensitivity of the skin
  • Decrease of spasticity
  • Reduction of neuropathic pain
  • Muscle build up
  • Improved continence


Are my muscles being stimulated electrically during the HAL treatment?

No, there are no external electrical stimuli. HAL’s movements are neurologically-controlled by your volition.

What are the prerequisites for this program?

HAL is intended for individuals with a spinal cord injury at levels C4 to L5 (ASIA C, ASIA D) and T11 to L5 (ASIA A with Zones of Partial Preservation, ASIA B), who have some motor function of the hip and knee.

Contraindications for program participation include, but are not limited to:

  • Persons whom physicians have judged unsuitable for the implementation of therapeutic exercise such as standing and walking treatment.
  • Severe spasticity (Ashworth4)
  • Significant contractures.
  • Pregnant women.
  • History of severe neurological injuries other than SCI (MS, CP, ALS, TBI, etc.)
  • Persons with severe concurrent medical diseases: infections, circulatory, heart or lung, pressure sores
  • Persons with decreased standing tolerance due to orthostatic hypotension
  • Persons with unresolved deep vein thrombosis
  • Persons with uncontrolled Autonomic Dysreflexia
  • Persons with uncontrolled hypertension or hypotension
  • Persons with epilepsy


If I need accommodations during the program, where can I stay?

Our team can help you arrange travel and lodging accommodations during your time in Jacksonville for the program. There are several hotels close by, as well as Helen’s House which provides lodging for Brooks’ patients and their families.

Who is the therapy team that will be in charge of my treatment while going through the program?

Click here to get to know our entire Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center team!

Where can I view the FDA clearance information about HAL?

You can view the full FDA clearance information by clicking here.

Have any adverse events been reported during the use of HAL?

In some clinical studies, skin reddening was observed. The reddening was due to electrodes that were attached onto the patient’s skin, but disappeared shortly after the electrode was removed.

Where can I report adverse events during my use with HAL?

kimura_hiroki@cyberdyne.jp

What material is the HAL suit?

The HAL treatment device is made of plastic, metal, sensor shoes, motors at the hip and knee joints, CPU and a controller.

Can I continue physical therapy during HAL treatment?

Yes, HAL should be used in conjunction with regular physical therapy.

What do I need to bring with me for HAL treatment?

Since you will be living in Jacksonville during your HAL treatment, please bring anything you may need during that time, especially medical equipment and supplies.

If you would like more information about the Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center program, please fill out the form below or call us at 904.345.7162.