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TIRR Memorial Hermann Journal

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MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

2016 Spring Gerard FranciscoFor the first time, the International Symposium on Wearable Robotics and Rehabilitation (WeRob) will be held in the United States, sponsored by TIRR Memorial Hermann, with a focus on the challenges we face in moving wearable robotics from the research setting to personal home use. Currently, most lower-extremity robotic devices are research grade, very expensive and require so much expertise that they can be used only in the clinical setting.

The past three WeRob conferences were held in Spain and focused on device technology and engineering. At the 2017 symposium, coming up in November, clinicians, engineers and end users – our patients – will start an in-depth conversation about ways to bridge the gap between the engineering and research world and the home setting.

This year’s symposium will showcase the expertise of international speakers from academia, government, industry and rehabilitation centers, as well as the experience of end users of robotic devices. Interactive workshops with engineers, clinicians and end users will promote collaboration, and the symposium will also include a product theater demonstrating the latest in wearable exoskeletons and rehabilitation robots.

We are confident that these devices will be translated to the home setting, and we’re looking for ways to fast-track that evolution. Our passion for finding innovative ways to help people overcome participation restrictions is one more characteristic that distinguishes TIRR Memorial Hermann from other rehabilitation hospitals. We’re here to shatter barriers. Wearable robotic technology is one hammer that will help us break the wall between disability and ability.

Gerard E. Francisco, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
TIRR Memorial Hermann
Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

The International Symposium on Wearable Robotics and Rehabilitation (WeRob 2017) will be held Nov. 5-8 in Houston. For more information, visit tirr.memorialhermann.org/professional-resources-education/werob2017.