Technologies for Brain Injury Treatment by Charles Watson
Posted on July 11, 2021
Technology and assistive equipment are increasingly being used to rehabilitate brain-injured victims. Highly skilled therapists are adept at using technology for optimal recovery. Some high-tech devices, including cutting-edge robotics and interactive touch screen equipment, and a range of computer-aided walking technologies are used to provide maximum benefits.
Technological aids are being used to help children, adolescents, and people with traumatic or acquired brain injury. Here are some of the latest gadgets and technologies being used:
- Neuromuscular Electrical stimulation: TENS Unit: This device can improve brain function and relieve pain in brain injury patients used in conjunction with exercise. It can also help reduce muscle pain and stimulate muscle functioning.
- Virtual Reality Technology: A new tool that might provide TBI care teams with neuro-restorative strategies. VR is a 3D synthetic environment created by computer graphics, where the user has the feeling of being inside. VR has been tested in motor and cognitive rehabilitation, with good results. In stroke and concussion patients, VR programs are rapidly increasing, with data indicating an improvement in daily living activities.
- Aquatic therapy pool: Water-induced resistance to improve physical functioning is a method to rehabilitate brain injured victims. Equipped with a pool lift, this pool offers a treadmill, video-aided technology, and resistance control.
- ARMEO: A gravity-reducing robotic device that allows working on the arm while sitting upright and interacting with therapeutic tasks on a computer screen.
- Ampcare/ VitalStim: These devices use non-invasive therapy that uses an electrical current to stimulate the muscles responsible for swallowing.
- Biofeedback: This mind-body technique involves attaching electrical sensors attached to your body that sends visual and auditory feedback to recognize the physical signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety, such as increased heart rate, muscle tension, and body temperature.
- LiteGait: Provides a broad selection of innovative products to provide bodyweight support as walking is being relearned. It assists with symmetric gait patterns, weight shifting, and assists with balance, coordination, and facilitates hip alignment.
- GaitRite: This is a 16-foot mat to analyze the walker's gait and offers deep insight into walking deficits. It connects to a computer to display real-time results.
- Bungee Mobility Trainer: This mobile, graduated body weight support system helps regain the ability to walk, improve dynamic balance skills necessary for fall prevention. This equipment can be used on its own or connected to a biofeedback-based computer program.
- SANET: This device is used to address motor and cognitive skills needed for driving and consist of a large touch screen with programs that address memory, visual, and motor functions.
- Visi-Pitch: To overcome speech deficits after TBI, this device analyses voice output through a computer-based program to monitor voice, motor speech, and auditory feedback deficits.
- REO-GO: This is a robotic technology for neurological and orthopedic impairments of the upper body.
- SaeboGlove: This is a light, comfortable splint that allows an impaired arm and hand to regain function. People with brain injuries are unable to open or extend their hands or fingers as it requires a lot of effort due to loss in muscle and nerve function.
- Vision Builder Computer: This program addresses vision problems such as double vision and difficulty in eye movement.
- Augmentative Communication Devices: This device, such as a laptop or a tablet, helps someone with a speech or language impairment communicate. Therapists assist with devices such as Dynavox, Tobii, iPads to program personal information and personalized speech phrases.
With the aid of technology and assistive devices, it is possible to regain lost function and improve motor and cognitive skills. Rehabilitation of severe brain injury due to stroke, TBI, or ABI has become manageable due to technological advancements in development of devices to improve gait, balance, speech, motor, and vision deficits.