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[Video] The new Innowalk Pro – first experiences from a user perspective

Dominik Hein
Dominik Hein
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man training in his innowalk 2

The new Innowalk Pro, an end-effector gait trainer for full-body robotic therapy, has recently been launched and is used in various therapy facilities. Raymond Baafi has experience with both the old and the new version of the Innowalk Pro at the NIB clinic in Cologne and share his impressions.

Physical activity in every life situation

Raymond Baafi has been paralyzed since an accident in the swimming pool almost 4 years ago. The 42-year-old, who studied sports science, was diagnosed with “incomplete paraplegia” after fracture in the 5th cervical vertebra - meaning his spinal cord is not completely damaged and residual functions are present, accompanied by spasticity.

He spends his life in a wheelchair as actively as possible. In addition to co-founding the start-up HelpYuu (www.helpyuu.de), he does fitness, para-rowing and takes part in social events and trips. He is always looking for challenges during rehabilitation training at the NiB (Neurological Interdisciplinary Treatment Center) in Cologne. It is at NIB that Raymond have used the Innowalk Pro and he is impressed.

The Innowalk Pro - old versus new model

Raymond Baafi is very familiar with the Innowalk Pro, an efficient end-effector gait trainer and appreciates its advantages. Now he has been able to test the new model and is thoroughly convinced:

«People say, the eye eats as well!! I find the new Innowalk Pro in black looks professional and appealing. Compared to the old model in white, it appears more compact. The way everything is assembled is reassuring. That's about the exterior. But it already boosts motivation.”

For Raymond Baafi, the simplified transfer from the wheelchair to the device is an important improvement. He emphasizes the flexibility offered by the low entry point of the seat on the device. For him, the initial barrieris lower than with the old Innowalk Pro, where the transfer, even with assistance, was somewhat more difficult.

Furthermore, the sense of security in the movement trainer is crucial for him. He finds the straps and the supporting points are more intensive and comprehensive, so that he feels very safe from the start while sitting to standing and even when increasing the pace, he feels very secure, allowing him to fully concentrate on the training.

The Innowalk Pro now offers the option of adapting the gait trainer even more individually to the needs of the patient. Raymond Baafi reports:

«What I noticed about the new Innowalk Pro and what I like: that you have a greater range to train with in terms of step amplitude, that means the width of the steps. I too am very constricted in the hip area due to spasticity, and this allows the entire joints in the hip area, including the lumbar spine of the lower back, to be expanded better. There are many adjustments, so that you can make the settings even more individual. For example, you can adjust the knee extension individually using a crank. I like it very much.»

For ambitious athletes like Raymon Baafi, the ability to significantly increase the walking pattern, depending on your daily form, represents a real added value. Especially in a direct comparison when using the old and new Innowalk Pro alternately - depending on availability in the NiB clinic - he feels the training in the previous model as «often limiting».

Training success with the gait and movement trainer

For Raymond Baafi, training in the Innowalk Pro has two objectives - he defines these as «two dimensions» as follows:

«The first dimension is the health-oriented, preventative dimension, the second is that of achieving progress in terms of residual functions.»

As someone who spends most his day sitting in a wheelchair, he always keeps an eye on the potential consequences and how to avoid them, citing topics such as osteoporosis, pressure sores and decubitus (damage to the skin). The positive effects of training on the cardiovascular system, respiratory functions are immediately noticeable.

From his experience and from conversations with others he reports:

«... In a phase where the Innowalk training is part of a regular week, there is an overall improvement of the autonomic nervous system – key aspects includes: metabolism, intestinal and bladder function. This is obviously a huge advantage! Moreover, the movement of the lower extremities - which many people with a complete spinal cord injury without residual function cannot perform at all - has an absolutely preventative character with immense impacts, especially when considered over a longer period of several years!»

The second training orientation for Raymond Baafi is aimed at strengthening the residual functions that he still has with incomplete spinal cord paraplegia - for example, achieving a more secure standing function and improving his gait. He typically have a session at the NiB where he first ”warm up” in the Innowalk Pro, to get his muscles and the entire nervous system working together. This warm up serves as a preparation for further standing and walking training together with a physiotherapist and by the use of other aids.


Innovative training accessories

In the NiB, Raymond Baafi has the opportunity to train in the Innowalk Pro with VR glasses and hand controllers. When asked how he perceived the accessories in conjunction with the movement, he responds:

«I found it very motivating and “very different” than normal physiotherapeutic movement training because it has a gamification character and releases joy. I think this is a very good additional tool to not only train the lower extremities, but also through the impulses that come from using the joysticks in your hand and stretching your arms away from your body, you automatically train your trunk too... That has different additional effects - and in a playful setting. It is extremely attractive, in principle, to train with other additional tools ... The special feature of being in motion and doing so without the fear  because you are secured, and involving  your upper body, is truly unique, and I know of nothing  comparable... The Innowalk Pro is just fun.”

man training in innowalk pro with VR glasses

The Innowalk for individual training at home

The Innowalk is available both as a rehabilitation device in clinics and other therapy facilities and for use at home.   

Raymond Baafi is excited:

« It would be a dream to have the device at home because I see potential and I find it exciting what effects it could have... When I´m in the stander, the blood often rushes to my legs. I've manage to stand and move in it for 2 hours, but I find at the end of the day it doesn't really help me progress. That's why I think the Innowalk is the perfect device for the important training at home, as I can plan and carry out my additional training sessions at home myself.»

He is convinced that this combination of training in the Innowalk Pro at NiB and in the Innowalk at home will have an intensive impact on health - especially over the long term. Therefore he concludes with the words:


«I am absolutely interested in having this device at home. I’m very happy that the device is available for adults now and an application can finally be submitted!”  


We would like to thank Raymond Baafi for his time and are very happy that he will soon be able to train even more intensively with the Innowalk at home.


Read more about the Innowalk Pro



Dominik Hein
Dominik Hein

Dominik Hein studied sports science at the German Sports University in Cologne and has professional experience as sports therapist from outpatient rehabilitation centres. The last several years he has been working within medical products and technology. He is especially interested in engaging with therapist within the rehabilitation area, and support them with equipment that enhance the rehabilitation process. Dominik enjoys seeing the smile on the face of the patient when he delivers technology that motivate them in their training and how it support them to reach their goals.

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