September 03, 2021
INPA joins The Neurological Alliance
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 the very latest in cutting edge rehabilitation technology equipment – all housed in their brand new STEPS RehabHub.
Already known for its truly holistic approach to rehabilitation care, the pioneering facility in Sheffield has been rubbing shoulders with tech innovators in Singapore and Switzerland to become the first place in the UK to provide clients with access to world-class robotic and virtual reality technology.
UK’s First Fourier Intelligence Rehabilitation Hub
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, they excel 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 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.”
“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” explains Stephen. “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 RehabHub is a suite of products which focus on both upper and lower limb Robotic Therapy, as well as cognitive feedback and training. It provides a unique and complete solution for Neurorehabilitation.” explains Stephen. “The innovative ‘Force Feedback’ technology creates very immersive games to allow for very effective rehabilitation. This increases repetitions and intensity which will result in better results and better involvement in the rehabilitation process. As the devices are all linked, it allows patients and therapists to compete, allows a complete feedback and reporting ability which is valuable to the therapists but also demonstrates the patient’s progress.”
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” explains 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, STEPS is also now one of only two UK facilities offering clients access to the revolutionary MindMaze virtual reality rehabilitation technology. Developed in Switzerland, this trailblazing VR technology 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” explains 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, a highly engaging animated gaming experience which promotes the recovery of motor skills and cognitive function. “The dolphin has been designed by Pixar animators no less!” says Toria “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.”
Rehabilitation robotic research
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.
STEPS has just got even better!
“We’re excited to be able to offer clients access to such an array of leading-edge technology. Added to that, we’re also now an assessment centre for the latest in exoskeleton technology” says Jules. “What’s truly special and unique is that this is all delivered in our purpose-built residential setting supported by our specialist team of clinicians who are experts in their field.
We’re delighted that by giving clients access to this incredible technology we will maximise the opportunity for them to reach their full potential.”