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New Technology Helps Restore Cognitive, Physical Functions

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Stroke survivors and others with neurological injuries and illnesses often have difficulty regaining the ability to perform everyday functions such as walking, talking and even swallowing. In response to these difficulties, Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital has introduced several new therapeutic technologies to its inpatient and outpatient programs.

“These new technologies, combined with traditional therapy techniques, provide patients with the best possibilities for recovery,” said Dr. Howard Fixler, Chief of Internal Medicine at Fairlawn. “I have seen dramatic improvements in my patients’ quality of life due to their use.”

Bioness functional electrical stimulation systems help patients with neurological disorders affecting upper and lower extremities.

The Bioness H200 assists patients with upper limb paralysis to improve hand function and voluntary movement. The device surrounds the patient’s hand and forearm. Five surface electrodes are integrated into the H200 to stimulate and activate the hand. A microprocessor provides the patient and clinician control over the desired hand activation.

Once the device is fitted, movement can begin immediately. The device can be used for exercise as well as functional activities, such as practicing the grasp and release of objects and performing activities of daily living.

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Bioness L300, which works much the same way as the Bioness H200, is used to help patients with conditions affecting the lower extremities.

Keeping The Beat

Interactive Metronome (IM) is a training program developed to improve processing abilities that control attention, motor planning and sequencing. IM challenges a patient to match a computer generated beat heard through headphones with repetitive actions such as tapping his or her toes on a floor sensor mat or hand clapping. By improving these skills, a patient can improve motor function, as well as many cognitive capacities such as planning, organizing, and using language.

The Interactive Metronome combines the concept of a musical metronome with a patented technology that measures, assesses and improves a person’s rhythm and timing.

Preventing Falls

Most individuals at risk for falls are not identified, assessed, diagnosed and treated until they have fallen. CAPS (Comprehensive Assessment of Postural Systems) is a computerized assessment tool that quickly and easily identifies individuals with asymptomatic balance disorders as well those who may be at risk for falls.

Using age-based norms, it provides immediate, objective quantification of risk. CAPS, which can benefit individuals with stroke, brain injury, hip fracture, joint replacement, and other neurological or orthopedic diagnoses, also provides diagnostic information to justify further treatments/testing, monitors therapy progress, and documents outcomes.