Cognitive exercise on the Neuro Sensorimotor Integrator
The Neuro Sensorimotor Integrator (NSI) is one of many robots in Bacharach’s Klinghoffer Neurorecovery Center. Occupational therapist Jessy Ohlsen describes how it works and what it does for people with visual and cognitive difficulties.
What kinds of conditions does NSI therapy help?
Visual and cognitive difficulties from stroke, brain injury, or concussion. We’ve even used it to work on reaching and eye hand coordination with patients recovering from orthopedic injuries and spinal cord injuries.
What does the NSI robot do that conventional therapy doesn’t?
The NSI’s 48-inch-wide touch screen allows for more sophisticated, interactive, measurable, and customizable treatment options. We also call it the vision board, but it works on much more than vision.
What activities does it provide and what is it designed to do?
The height-adjustable touch screen has programs that work on visual skills such as tracking (following a moving target with your eyes), eye hand coordination, and saccades (quick, accurate eye movements). The activities can be adjusted to also challenge thinking skills such as attention, reaction time, processing speed, and memory. The activities are graphically simple, and we can adjust the color, brightness, and contrast on the screen. We can even adjust the size of the target the person needs to touch.
What do patients say about it?
They find it engaging and fun. They like to see their scores and times at the end, then try to beat their score.
Does it generate reports so that patients can see progress over time?
Yes. We can access their previous scores and times under the History portion.
How does NSI therapy fit into a regular OT visit or an OT regimen?
We incorporate it into our treatment plan. Occupational therapy always focuses on improving a person’s ability to perform their functional tasks. If that person has visual or cognitive deficits that are affecting their function, we will use the activities on the NSI to help improve their skills. This translates into better, more independent performance in their daily tasks.
What do you and other OTs see that you really like about the NSI?
I love that we can customize most of the activities to work on what our client needs the most. If something is too easy, we can change some settings to make it more challenging for that client. Those settings will then be the default under that client’s name. I also love the variety in the programs.
Does having the NSI separate Bacharach from other rehab providers?
Absolutely. It’s a wonderful addition to our treatment activities.