Modern Technology's Role in Acute Rehabilitation
One increasingly important part of the therapeutic process is the technology that is used by therapists to achieve maximum improvement. Though some may resemble robots or games, these new discoveries are playing a significant role in improving the outcomes of our patients.
Click on the device names at left to explore the technologies in regular use at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital.
The Lokomat®: Walking Along a New Pathway Video
“I was headed for more time in a wheelchair,”says Mike Cummings. That is, until he started training on the Lokomat, a computer-controlled robotic treadmill. Using technology based on the concepts of task-specific learning and reverse training, the Lokomat replicates a normal gait for rehab patients with a walking disability. The patient’s legs are secured in special cuffs and guided along a treadmill outfitted with sensors that send visual feedback to computer screens for the patient and therapist. The very act of walking correctly changes the brain and helps recapture function that until recently might have been considered lost for good. This “re-training” can make dramatic and lasting improvements, as it did for Mike Cummings. Today, he not only walks unassisted, but also has experienced improvement in his posture and speaking. “The Lokomat is a fantastic rehabilitation device,” he says. “And the most exciting aspect of the Lokomat at Mount Sinai is that it will be used in clinical applications as well as research.”
LiteGait®: Carrying Gait Therapy the Distance
LiteGait® trains patients in correct, sustainable walking gait. As patients walk on a treadmill or across the floor, LiteGait supports body weight while also providing balance and posture. Lower body and leg movement can be relearned with manually assisted leg and pelvis movement, if needed, and without concern for balance or falling.
RT300 FES Cycle: Hope for Regained Mobility
GETTING A WORKOUT – A FOX 61 photographer captures the action as patient Corey Lee, a quadriplegic, exercises with the RT300 FES cycle. Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital is one of the few centers in Connecticut with this advanced technology, which allows patients with limited mobility to maintain their physical condition.
Mount Sinai’s next generation functional electrical stimulation (FES) bicycle is giving hope to paralyzed patients like Corey Lee that they may someday regain some of their lost mobility. The RT300 cycle represents the next generation of this technology, which opens up new possibilities for Mr. Lee, a quadriplegic, who was injured in a diving accident.
“Corey is in a power wheelchair or a bed most of the time, but when he’s here to ride the bike, he’s flying high when he’s done with the session because of the ability to physically move,” observes Cindy Griffith, P.T., Mount Sinai’s Manager of Outpatient Programs.
The state-of-the-art bike, one of only a few in Connecticut, stimulates the muscles of the upper and lower extremities with electrical energy, facilitating neuromuscular activity to get a patient’s nerves and muscles working again.
“It reduces the risk of skin breakdown and prevents atrophy, and improves overall aerobic conditioning and exercise tolerance for the other part of a patient’s rehab program,” explains Robert Krug, M.D.
While Mount Sinai has had previous FES bikes, this newest model can be used by both patients who have suffered strokes and those with upper extremity injuries. It has been enthusiastically embraced by patients who say that the bike gives them freedom to move that they haven’t had in a long time.
“It gives them a physical workout and also provides emotional support and motivation,” says Ms. Griffith.
One of the advanced features incorporated into the RT300 is a spasm detector mode, which detects spasms as they begin to develop and adjusts the motion of the cycle to reduce the muscle contraction in its early stages.
ARMEO®: Getting a Grip on Hand and Arm Function
The Armeo arm therapy device, the only technology of its kind in Connecticut, helps patients with neurological impairments such as stroke, brain injury and Multiple Sclerosis, regain arm and hand function by allowing them to master a wide range of functional movements and tasks through repetitive interactions in virtual environments.
The GAITRite® Mat: Striding Toward Improved Mobility
The GAITRite® Mat, a portable, instrumented walkway, is used to analyze details of walking, such as gait pattern, step length and width, to help guide treatment decisions.
The Balance Master® provides assessment and retraining of the sensory and voluntary motor control of balance, assisting the patient in achieving better balance control.
Hand, Thigh, and Leg
The Bioness® electrical stimulation device is worn on a patient’s hand, thigh, or leg, to help improve muscle movement. Through electrical stimulation, Bioness® retrains muscles, increasing motion and blood circulation, and enabling the return to more normal use of hand or leg. Pictured: Leg Bioness® in action.
Dynavision®: Lighting the Way to Regained Coordination
Dynavision® is used to evaluate and treat patients through forced cognitive and visual training, helping improve hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and aspects of balance.
Biodex®: Bent on Improved Flexibility, Muscle Strength, and Power
The Biodex Dynamometer makes it possible for therapists to accurately assess muscle strength, reaction time, power and joint flexibility. This assists in designing focused rehabilitative programs that most efficiently answer each patient's unique needs, and in providing the physician with key information for assessing patient progress and patient ability to return to work or sports, helping to guide continued rehabilitation decisions.
Omni VR®: Virtual Excellence in Rehabilitation
The OmniVR Virtual Rehabiliation System recreates movements in a 3-D, real-time, interactive experience that provides patients with enhanced feedback and motivation to improve exercise participation, repetition and duration. This easy-to-use technology uses an advanced 3-D camera and specialized computer software to track patients’ precise movements and allow them to interact in a virtual world. The system includes a variety of “skilled” exercise programs for physical, occupational, and speech therapy applications.