Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Is technology going to catch up with stroke recovery needs?

In the last few years, we've seen lots of ideas about technology and recovery. You can find a few here.

Still, it's a little disheartening that high-tech solutions seem to always be just over the horizon instead of in place and available to all stroke survivors.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability, and most stroke survivors are included in those numbers. How much productivity can be regained if we truly harness technology to make a difference in these lives?

So, with that, here's another trial featuring cutting-edge treatments for stroke patients using videogames and robotic arms:
New therapeutic devices for stroke recovery, made possible by advances in hardware and software, are transforming the typically low-tech world of stroke rehabilitation. Though the tools are still in the early stages, doctors say that they can be more motivating and engaging for patients than current standard therapies, and that they hold promise for stroke survivors who are too injured for traditional therapy.
“We’re entering a very exciting era,” says Dr. David Putrino, director of telemedicine at the Burke Medical Research Institute in White Plains, N.Y. “All of these new tools can really help us do our jobs much better.”
Strokes, which cause brain damage, are a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. Most survivors have some type of disability, and at least half are affected severely enough to require special care or a long-term facility. ...
What’s more, while most stroke therapy works by exercising the part of the body associated with the injured portion of the brain, some of the new therapies take a different approach.
For instance, the simulated canoeing device at NYU Langone — which is undergoing clinical trials — engages both arms simultaneously in an effort to retrain the paralyzed hand and the affected portion of the brain. The design is based on research findings by its inventors that using an uninjured arm can help in retraining the injured one.
The entire piece is interesting and seems promising - but still not widely available.

As you know, I adapted some technology - not the latest and greatest - in my 1998 and forward recovery. What technology have you used in your recovery?

(Photo from Eric Holsinger via Flickr)

No comments: