The robot, the first of its kind to be used in a community-based hospital setting, was demonstrated today at Alexian Rehabilitation Hospital. A new prototype of the robot is being introduced following three years of successful clinical trials at the Rehabilitation Institute of
The KineAssist Robot, winner of the prestigious international Industrial Design Excellence Award, applies robotic technology to helping patients learn to walk forward and backward, step sideways, climb stairs and regain the balance, strength and mobility to carry on daily activities without the fear of falling. The robot is a welcome tool for physical therapists because it frees them to interact with and safely challenge patients with real-life tasks, while the robot fully supports and holds patients in a safe position even if they lose their balance.
"The KineAssist Robot enhances the connection between patients and physical therapists, freeing them for the first time from the responsibility of supporting the patient's weight," says
"Through cutting-edge research discoveries like the KineAssist, RIC is positioned to deliver the most advanced clinical treatments which help RIC to set the standards in rehabilitation care and provide patients with the best functional outcomes," said
Artificial body weight support was previously limited to a stationary treadmill with a harness. The KineAssist allows total mobility and portability. The harness on the robot was designed by the same team that designs harnesses for Cirque du Soleil. The robot can be used in a wide variety of clinical settings, down hospital hallways, even outside. Therapists can adjust the robot's level of resistance and other variables by touch screen, a revolutionary new level of control for therapists as they help patients progressively build strength and flexibility. The KineAssist's computer screen also displays patient performance data for therapists and patients to measure their progress.
"It took some time for me to learn to trust it, but then I stumbled a few times, and it caught me," says
"Therapists can now challenge patients more than they could without the robot," says Dr.
Alexian Rehabilitation Hospital offers a full range of inpatient, day rehabilitation and outpatient services in partnership with the Rehabilitation Institute of
The Rehabilitation Institute of
Kinea Design is a committed practitioner of user-oriented observational design research. By understanding real users, in real tasks, set in real contexts, Kinea gains a thorough understanding of the terrain before it commences design. Kinea Design believes that its user-centered approach, backed by a proven team of human-machine design engineers, clinical researchers and experienced commercial experts, uniquely positions it to bring technology into practice.
The KineAssist will be used initially with up to 30 stroke patients participating in therapy research at Alexian. Individuals interested in being research subjects in the therapy program using the KineAssist Robot should call
SOURCE Alexian Brothers Hospital Network