Vodafone has won a deal to supply SIM cards to American robotic exoskeleton manufacturer Ekso Bionics.

The UK-based operator will supply connectivity to the Ekso GT, the only exoskeleton approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use with both stroke patients and those suffering from spinal cord injuries.

The Ekso GT is a battery-powered robot that is strapped over the users’ clothing to achieve mobility, strength, or endurance not otherwise possible.

It is used in more than 150 rehabilitation institutions around the world.

Vodafone said its network and global SIM would provide diagnostics and improved access to patient data.

Ekso Bionics CEO Thomas Looby said: “With Vodafone IoT technology, we can monitor how our exoskeletons are performing in real time, providing therapists with data on how the patients’ rehabilitation is progressing.”

Andrew Morawski, Vodafone’s Head of IoT for the Americas, added: “The Internet of Things is enabling all types of medical devices to be connected anywhere in the world, which is directly affecting the care that patients are receiving.”

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, Erik Brenneis, Head of Vodafone IoT, told European Communications that he had “never seen as wide a range of new stuff” on offer in the IoT market.

[Video: Vodafone IoT chief revels in new applications, predicts higher adoption rates]

In the 12 months to March, the operator increased the number of IoT connections by 37 percent year-on-year to 38 million.

The operator does not break out precise IoT revenues, but it said like-for-like sales had grown by 29 percent.

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