NYU Lutheran’s sub-acute facility, the Augustana Center is currently home to one of a limited number of ArmeoBoom rehab devices. The center is the first in the New York City area to trial the device. This therapy specifically helps to improve mobility, range of motion and coordinated arm movements. The device, used by physical and occupational therapists, has treated stroke rehab patients over the last three months at Augustana. The Augustana Center is at the forefront of this technology advancement and the first post-acute center in the New York City area to utilize this groundbreaking therapeutic concept.
The Armeo therapy concept is based on the principle of repetitive training enabled by weight compensation motivation through augmented feedback. Arm movements of the patient are assessed in real-time and used to interact with the Armeo Control therapy software.
The device supports functional movement in patients while training mobility through the use of videogame-like software specifically designed to meet the needs of patients with different impairment levels. Scores and levels attained by patients taking part in activities such as catching falling drops of water with a cup or cleaning a stovetop can be tracked in the system in order to compare progress and create new goals in recovery.
The role of neuroplasticity is widely recognized in healthy development, learning, memory, and recovery from a brain injury. Despite the severity of the stroke or age of the patient, research suggests that there is still potential for neural plasticity even years after a stroke. New connections can be made through intensive, repetitive and task-oriented movements. The ArmeoBoom improves the efficiency of therapy treatments because the exercises are self-initiated, self-directed, functional and intense. Even severely impaired patients can practice independently, without the constant presence of a therapist, allowing patients to exploit their full potential for recovery.
May Tang, occupational therapist, explained that it’s helpful for the patients who use the device, “to have a mental image while they are focusing on their movements. It makes them feel like they are actually accomplishing something real and tangible.”
Deborah Leak (at right), a patient who has been using the ArmeoBoom in addition to her regular therapy for the past two months, explains, “I’m addicted! It’s very exciting and more challenging than other exercises and you get to use your brain.” Deborah regularly tries to beat her previous scores and advance to new levels.
For more information about rehabilitation services at Augustana, click here