Specialist rehab facility reveals new cutting-edge rehab tech to improve client outcomes
Sheffield-based STEPS Rehabilitation, a specialist facility that delivers intensive rehabilitation for people recovering from brain injury, spinal cord injury, strokes and complex trauma injuries, is now home to “cutting-edge” rehabilitation equipment.
The specialist facility has launched STEPS RehaHub, which has become the first place in the UK to provide clients with access to “word-class” robotics and virtual reality (VR) technology.
The suite of assistive technology focuses on upper and lower limb robotic therapy, as well as cognitive feedback and training for a complete solution for neurorehabilitation.
It comes after STEPS Rehabilitation has been working with innovators in Singapore and Switzerland.
Fourier Intelligence is a Singapore-based technology company that develops pioneering exoskeleton and rehabilitation robotics. By combining the expertise and experience of researchers, therapists, and patients, the company excels in developing new robotic solutions to support the rehabilitation process and lives of patients.
“We’re offering this new tech in conjunction with Thor Assistive Technologies,” reveals STEPS Rehabilitation Business Development Director Jules Leahy. “We’ve been working with the founder, Stephen Ruffle, for a while now with ReWalk Exoskeleton, and we know just how much clients can progress with the assistance of the right technology.”
Stephen explains: “The RehabHub is a suite of rehab technology which focus on both upper and lower limb robotic therapy, as well as cognitive feedback and training, providing a complete solution for neurorehabilitation.
“The unique and innovative ‘Force Feedback’ technology creates an immersive game environment which facilitates highly effective rehabilitation. Use of the technology naturally encourages repetition and intensity which improves client engagement and outcomes.
“As the devices are all linked, it enables client-against-client gaming competition, which enhances motivation and stamina. The technology also provides therapists and clients with performance feedback which tracks client progress and helps shape individual rehabilitation programmes.”
The suite of equipment includes the latest in cycle motion, arm, wrist, finger, and ankle rehabilitation robotics.
“Clients can access the pioneering OTParvos alone or in conjunction with the HandyRehab,” comments STEPS Rehabilitation Clinical Director Toria Chan. “These amazing pieces of kit used together provide a portable intelligent solution for therapy, supporting the functional rehabilitation of the upper limb, fine motor skills of the fingers, hand-eye coordination and cognitive ability.
“They allow clients to undertake training using everyday objects with the assistance of a lightweight robotic glove, with quantifiable data being recorded in real time enhancing the rehabilitation process. We can’t wait to see the results!”
As well as being the first UK Fourier Intelligence Rehabilitation Hub, the specialist rehabilitation facility is also now one of two UK facilities offering clients access to the “revolutionary” MindMaze VR rehabilitation technology.
Developed in Switzerland, MindMaze equipment helps clients who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.
“We’ve been carefully exploring what VR technology is out there, and the portfolio of MindMaze equipment is truly impressive,” adds Toria. “It includes the MindMotion GO, a first-of-its-kind mobile neurorehabilitation therapy system that comes with a large variety of gamified engaging activities covering motor and task functions. Thanks to the motivating effects of the 3D virtual environment, early results suggest an increased client engagement and adherence to therapy.”
The MindPod Dolphin is an engaging animated gaming experience that promotes the recovery of motor skills and cognitive function.
Toria continues: “The dolphin has been designed by Pixar animators no less! It comes with an anti-gravity vest that de-weights the arm and trains fine-motor control of the upper-limb by encouraging continuous exploration of its immersive oceanic environment.”
Now, STEPS is in discussions to collaborate with the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) at Sheffield Hallam University to undertake new research that will investigate and explore the benefits of this new rehabilitation technology. The specialist centre at the university is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing through movement, harnessing world-class research and design.