Rehabilitation Technology Benefits Stroke Patients
Stroke patients can benefit from the latest technology, whether it is a robotic device called AlterG (formerly Tibion) that strengthens the legs, or vision therapy using LCD glasses to improve visual motor skills. At Good Shepherd, we offer dozens of high-tech devices that help stroke patients improve strength, range-of-motion and coordination. Skilled therapists use these devices as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that also incorporates traditional therapy.
Benefits of Technology for Patients and Therapists
Using technology offers benefits for both therapists and patients. Some benefits include:
- Helping patients to increase repetitions of an activity or movement to reinforce learning
- Facilitating patterning and encouraging neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to adapt to change by creating new neural pathways)
- Reducing therapist fatigue by relieving them of taxing tasks, such as supporting a patient’s body weight
- Allowing therapists to focus on more than one problem area simultaneously, such as posture, balance, vision or cognition
- Measuring progress and providing feedback that is emotionally rewarding to patients. Some devices provide auditory components to reinforce learning.
- Capturing data and providing precise information that can be helpful to the therapist. For example, a patient may appear to be walking upright but may complain of feeling off balance. A device such as the Balance Master can help gauge problems not immediately visible.
- Providing visual feedback to allow patients to maximize outcomes by creating opportunities to use their strengths. For instance, a patient with communication or cognitive deficits with a strong visual system can benefit from technologies with computerized graphics and visual directions.
- Using electrical stimulation to tap into the patient’s sensory system, increasing focus on a particular body part
Rehabilitation Technology Center of Excellence
Good Shepherd is a Center of Excellence for rehabilitation technology, with many of our therapists specially trained and certified in using these technologies. We continually evaluate the devices we are using and new technologies as they become available to provide the best options for our patients. Many times Good Shepherd is one of the first facilities in the country to test and evaluate new devices, so we can frequently offer our patients options not available elsewhere in the area.
Learn more about rehabilitation technologies available at Good Shepherd.