How Rehabilitation Technology Advances Inpatient Stroke Recovery

February 09, 2024

Innovation and technology. We hear about their impact on our lives almost daily. For some, new technologies raise fears. But for patients who have had a stroke, rehabilitation technology brings hope for regaining their greatest level of independence.

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation has been an early adopter of rehabilitation technology for decades, seeing that it could supplement the clinical capabilities of our highly skilled physicians, therapists, nurses and more.

Rehabilitation technology for stroke

When making a choice for inpatient rehabilitation, the use of technology by skilled clinicians is one of the top considerations for patients and their families. At Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Center Valley, Pa., clinicians are continually evaluating technologies from the U.S. and beyond for use in a clinical setting. In particular, The Fleming Center for Robotics in Rehabilitation provides the opportunity for rehabilitation professionals to connect with companies worldwide to test robotic and wearable technologies.

Once a technology is accepted for use, our clinicians complete extensive training and testing to ensure safety and proficiency.

Specific rehabilitation technologies are selected to create an individualized treatment plan based on a patient’s mobility, functional status and activity tolerance. Many of the devices can be modified and used, whether someone has very minimal physical movement or has more advanced mobility and requires a higher intensity of therapy.

Examples of rehabilitation technologies used at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital to enhance inpatient stroke recovery and promote safety include:  

Standing and upright tolerance

  • Standing frames that allow for standing even with insufficient leg strength

Balance and walking

  • Body weight-support systems eliminate the fear of falling and help with sitting to standing, standing, stairs, balance and gait training over-ground or over a treadmill
    • Robotic gait trainer provides variable assistant for left versus right leg and on each step
    • Transfer and mobility devices assist with sit to stand, standing and walking (gait trainer)
    • Treadmill with biofeedback for gait training

Arm and leg strength

  • Sensor-based digital treatment board with assessments, games and movement therapies for grip, fine motor and visual field testing and shoulder/wrist/grip strengthening
    • Robotic-assisted multifunctional chair with gamification for range of motion, strengthening and cycling
    • Electrical stimulation bike for arm and leg muscle strengthening, improved range of motion, and spasticity or tone management

Other technology services

Other specialized services that advance independence and quality of life for their patients, such as these unique initiatives, are available at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital:

  • Empower+: This dedicated area of the hospital provides free education and demonstrations of assistive technologies that promote independence and safety for those recovering from a stroke. Patients, family members and therapists collaborate on wearables, connected home devices, adaptive gaming and living-in-place technology that complement stroke therapies and support independence goals.
    • Good Shepherd-Moravian University 3D Experience: This partnership provides free, customized adaptive and assistive devices to patients throughout the Good Shepherd network. Located inside of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, the 3D lab creates devices for feeding, grooming, recreation, wheelchairs/walkers, tech accessibility and environmental adaptions.

Technology in hospital rooms

When making a choice for inpatient rehabilitation, the types of technology available in private rooms also is a consideration for patients and families.

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital’s private rooms include leading-edge technology that makes stays at the hospital safer and more comfortable, including:

  • Smart hospital beds that alert staff if fall-prevention measures are not in place
    • Overhead lifts in person-of-size rooms
    • Smart call bell system that triages alerts to staff based on the patient’s needs
    • Lighting for comfort and function, with patients able to control lights through a pillow speaker

Technology will always be an integral part of the highly individualized stroke rehabilitation experience at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, but the use of technology does not stop when a patient leaves inpatient rehabilitation.

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation’s experts work to ensure similar technology is part of the ongoing rehabilitation plan when a patient transitions to outpatient rehabilitation services and continues the stroke recovery journey.

For more information on technology used at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation, visit our technology page or call 1.888.44.REHAB (73422).