HealthWatch: High-Tech Real Life Rehab


Published 08/15 2014 11:50AM

Updated 08/19 2014 05:57PM

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - When patients suffer a brain injury, fall, or have balance issues, rehabilitation can make all the difference in their recovery. Now that rehab is going high-tech.
It looks like a spacesuit, but Angelica is gearing up to use a new machine.  The Vector helps patients like Angelica learn to walk again after an injury.  She's recovering from a brain aneurysm.
Dr. Alan Novick of the Memorial Rehabilitation Institute in Hollywood, Florida is excited by the Vector's potential. "It keeps the patient from falling, so it builds a lot of confidence. This is one of the most exciting devices we've had in a very long time." He told Ivanhoe.
Patients are fully supported. They can walk long distances and practice a normal gait by swinging their arms, something they can't do with a walker.
Therapists don't have to physically hold the patient up, so they can assist in other ways. It also allows patients to walk sooner after their injury.
"If I give somebody a walker, I'm already changing their pattern. With the Vector, I don't need that walker." Said Anna Maria Castaneda, a therapist at the Memorial Rehabilitation Institute. 
The Vector can help any patient who experiences weakness.  1.7 million Americans suffer a brain injury each year. One in three older adults falls and about 15 percent of Americans have problems with balance or dizziness.
The institute also uses models like an ATM and a car to help patients with everyday activities they're likely to face when they return home. Patients practice getting in and out of the car and using the ATM. 
It's high-tech and real-life therapy helping patients get back to everyday life. 
Dr. Novick says the Vector can help patients with any kind of neurological injury or other conditions like Parkinson's, MS, stroke or spinal cord injuries.

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