Rehab’s Robotic Revolution

Researchers envision a day when robots will become standard equipment in rehabilitation centers, giving stroke patients — and possibly patients with spinal cord injuries — a chance to take their recovery further than previously possible.Β  The KineAssist, just one of a legion of smart machines poised to bring physical therapy into the high-tech age, was developed at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. It is essentially a hip brace and harness that connects to a rolling bank of wires and motors. With the robot in place, a patient can repeat a motion more than 1,500 times in 45 minutes. The sheer repetition seems to sear the routine into the brain, which gradually learns to compensate for stroke damage.

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One Response to Rehab’s Robotic Revolution

  1. handbiofeedback says:

    The OT/ PT can also use Neuromuscular stimulation e.g FES and robot-assisted rehabilitation to improvewrist movement ability. Equally important for upper limb rehabilitaion is isolated and combined finger and wrist intensive exercises provided by the HandTutor. The HandTutor is a glove and software that provides hand biofeedback.

    It is essential that the patient remains motivated and challenged to continue exercising. This is achieved with the HandTutor as challenging games and biofeedback provide patients with the motivation to continue intensive repetitive fine motor finger and wrist exercises. The HandTutor is used in hospitals and community hand therapy clinics as well as through tele rehabilitation. Examples of patients that are treated include Stroke, TBI, spinal cord injury CP, Orthopedic hand and arm surgery, development co-ordination disorders in children etc.

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