This is a summary of a discussion that started in the "Suggestions" forum before the "Medical Devices" forum became available:
This might also be an interesting one:http://www.bionessinc.com/about/videos.aspx
I saw this device in Dallas TX. It was right next to us. It has a cuff, device for the heel of the shoe, and then a remote to run it all.
It looked good but with three pieces and my cognitive issues, er or being a man, having more pieces to try to keep track of would be hard.
I drop my keys on a table at home and loose them, I couldn't risk a remote. I go in and get programmed to my gait and I'm done. Strap it on in the morning and take it off at night. Simple and one contained piece.
As I get better I just go in say...once every three months or so to get re timed.
You would need to do a test run (walk) with both the Walkaid and Ness products to compare them, but there are a couple of features that seem good about the Ness:
* the foot sensor apparently signals to the cuff device the required amount of impulse, depending on walking conditions whereas the Walkaid just provides a regular impulse.
* there is a payment program whereby you can lease the Ness on a monthly basis at the start to see if it works for you.
I am in the process of evaluating the WalkAide and the Bioness products. Last week I was "programmed" for the WalkAide and I am quite impressed with the results. Obviously, each one of us have our own personal issues and therefore might not respond the same. I have not tried the Bioness product yet, but I have talked at length to customer service and I now have a video and packet to review.
My impressions so far:
The WalkAide does not require a shoe - I can go barefoot in the river if I want (for me, this would be a delight); it is one (1) item; you can try the WalkAide for thirty days - return it and get 80% of the cost refunded (about$3600); there is a one (1) year warranty; you can pay for it by using the CareCredit Patient Payment which offers a 3,6,12 or 18 month payment plan interest free and other plans with a fixed payment and 9% interest ( I would imagine Bioness would offer similar thru the Care Credit); the technician will meet with my PT so that she may also do an evaluation before I decide to buy; follow-up visits are not an extra $; it is about $1500 cheaper than the Bioness.
The Bioness requires a sensor to be placed on a "good" shoe (sorry, no sandals) and you also carry a hand-held control unit(this turns the unit on or off and adjusts the stimulation intensity) The WalkAide is turned on and off on the cuff, and the stimulation intensity and the exercise mode is also on the cuff. I personally like having one item instead of three items.
The Bioness is about $6900; you can rent for a period of 60 days (I think) for about $500 per month. You need a prescription from your doctor before you try out (WalkAide you can try out without a prescription). Now, about the sensor and the change of walking surfaces - this intriques me and I do have a slight concern with the WalkAide (I plan on trying the WalkAide on uneven grass similar to something you might find on a golf course).
So, from my personal perspective I am leaning towards the WalkAide - I will update you at the end of the week.