New Robotic Treatment For Patients With Spinal Cord Injuries {Interview}

New Robotic Treatment For Patients With Spinal Cord Injuries {Interview}

HAL, short for Hybrid Assistive Limb, is the world’s first advanced robotic treatment device shown to improve a patient’s ability to walk. By fitting to a patient’s lower limbs and trunk, HAL operates using neurologically-controlled signals from the body. Treatment interventions with HAL have been shown to improve a patient’s ability to walk.

Medical HAL has been used in Japan, Germany and other countries and has recently been cleared by the FDA in the U.S. It is now available for the first time ever in the United States.

Join me in a recent interview with Dr. Geneva Tonuzi, Medical Director of the Brooks Spinal Cord Injury Program, and Derrik, a patient currently using HAL as they discuss:

  • The science behind how treatment with HAL helps improve a patient’s own ability to walk.
  • What it feels like for a patient to use HAL to walk, stand, and move.
  • The varied spinal cord injury treatments available at the new Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center

See the entire interview here:

About Dr. Geneva Tonuzi, M.D.

Dr. Geneva Tonuzi, Medical Director of the Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center joined the Brooks Rehabilitation team as the Medical Director for Spinal Cord Injury in August 2014. She is now serving as the Medical Director of the recently opened Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center. She obtained her medical degree at the University of Kansas prior to pursuing her career in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). The completion of her residency program in PM&R at the former RehabilitationInstitute of Chicago (now Shirley Ryan Ability Lab) was followed by obtaining a fellowship in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She is currently a member of the Florida Medical association (FMA), the Academy of Spinal CordInjury Professionals (ASCIP) and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation(ABPMR). She is Board-Certified in both Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Spinal Cord Injury Medicine.

Dr. Geneva-Tonuzi

About Derrik

Derrik grew up in a suburb of Boston until his family moved to Spring Hill, Fla. He was seriously injured in a car accident at the age of 29, which left him paralyzed from the neck down. He has spent years in recovery, relearning to breathe, eat, and move on his own. To read Derrik’s full story, visit:

About Brooks Rehabilitation

Brooks Rehabilitation has been serving the southeast for more than 45 years. As a nonprofit organization based in Jacksonville, FL, Brooks operates one of the nation’s largest inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in the U.S. with 160 beds, one of the region’s largest home healthcare agencies, 32 outpatient rehabilitation clinics, a skilled nursing unit dedicated to orthopedic rehabilitation, a rehabilitation medicine physician practice, two skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and memory care. In addition, Brooks operates the Clinical Research Center, which specializes in research for stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury and more to advance the science of rehabilitation. Brooks also provides many low or no cost community programs and services such as the Brooks Clubhouse, Brooks Aphasia Center and Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation to improve the quality of life for people living with physical disabilities. For more information, visit



*This interview is brought to you by Brooks Rehabilitation Center

*Logo and photo courtesy of Brooks Rehabilitation Center





Cynthia Tait

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