Improving Lives Of Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Reporters are invited to meet the team that invented a revolutionary new system that improves the quality of life for people paralysed by stroke or spinal cord injury. Led by Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scientist Arthur Prochazka, PhD, the team will unveil its invention in the Heritage Medical Research Centre Laboratory.

This spring, the system was distributed for clinical trials in hospitals and clinics around the world. International partners in the world's first large-scale study of in-home, web-based rehabilitation include: University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of Miami, and Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta in the United States; and the University of Melbourne in Australia.


Spinal units in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth in Australia as well as Auckland in New Zealand are introducing a multi-centre trial using the Canadian rehabilitation system.

This announcement includes Ginny Bockman of Thorsby, Alberta, who volunteered for a clinical trial of this unique web-based rehabilitation system after she suffered a spinal cord injury during a car accident, leaving her in a wheelchair. The media event also includes Su Ling Chong, a U of A research physiotherapist who participated in the clinical trial, and U of A graduate student Jan Kowalczewski who designed key components of the system, including the video games.

Mary Galea, PhD, professor of clinical physiotherapy, University of Melbourne, and director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Research Centre, Austin Health, Australia, is attending via video link from Melbourne, Australia.