The Lite Run System uses differential air pressure inside a specially-designed suit to effectively unweight some of patient’s body weight onto Lite Run’s proprietary walker. Using the system, a patient’s effective body weight may be reduced by up to 50 percent. For example, a 180-pound patient can “weigh” only 90 pounds! This means the weight the patient needs to support on his or her own is reduced, making walking and balance easier. In addition, a complete “sit-to-stand” feature provides major assistance in standing up from a wheelchair or bed.
Just as the pressure of water in a swimming pool pushes a swimmer's body up and out of the water, the air pressure inside the Lite Run suit lifts a patient off of the ground. Lite Run is operated with an easy-to-use touch pad that allows therapists to set the amount of weight to be taken off of a patient. Once the therapist keys in the desired weight, air pressure begins to increase in the suit, and as it inflates, it exerts an upward force on the patient, producing the “unweighting” effect. Therapists are able to finely control the pressure inside the suit to increase or decrease the body weight as desired. A sophisticated pneumatic and electro-mechanical system housed in the base of the walker operates to continuously control and balance the forces within the suit.
Lite Run's suit has been scientifically designed so that patients’ joints retain full mobility, even when the suit is fully pressurized. Using similar technology as astronauts’ spacesuits, Lite Run's suit uses multiple layers of specialized fabric to maintain pressure within the suit and control tensile forces so that joints remain flexible. A disposable sanitary liner provides comfort and protects patients from infection.
Comfortable, natural gait training
The unique “unweighting” effect produced by the Lite Run system allows patients to use their own natural gait. Because the system is unconditionally stable, patients are able to begin using it much sooner after injury than is currently possible. While in the system patients are able to use their arms, legs, and core to walk as they normally would. As strength and balance improve, therapists simply decrease the amount of weight taken off of the patient until he or she is able to walk unassisted.
Lite Run has a comprehensive portfolio of national and international patents both issued and pending for the unique technology utilized in the Lite Run system.
Testimonials Restoring mobility, renewing hope
After her diagnosis with Guillain-Barre, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, KW feared she would never walk again. Wheelchair-bound and struggling with traditional therapies, KW enrolled in a three-month Lite Run trial at North Memorial Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Unweighted by 90 pounds in the Lite Run Gait Trainer, KW walked with confidence for the first time since the onset of her illness. 'It was nice to see her get upright and get that reciprocal pattern walking around our gym,' said her therapist.
Noted the patient: 'I was really surprised at how I was able to walk so much in it. It was so much more than I was able to do just in a regular therapy session. I think I walked easily three times more. That was really amazing to me, and it really made me feel like there was a lot of hope that I would be able to recover.'