On June 16, Hermano Igo Krebs, Ph.D. (pictured) from MIT was on-site at Bacharach to discuss neuro-restorative robots and the benefits and positive outcomes they bring to a rehabilitation setting. Dr. Krebs is a principal research scientist and lecturer at Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation at MIT.
Krebs’ InMotion Robots are a class of machines designed to physically interact with humans. The robot senses a patient’s movements and responds accordingly, guiding the patient through rehab exercises. It adjusts to the capabilities of the patient, providing less assistance as the patient’s abilities progress. For example, if initially a patient is unable to move, the robot guides the extremity toward the target.
The robots have been adopted in the United States by the VA Hospital System and in the United Kingdom. Many studies over the past 20 years have shown that using robotic therapy enhances patient outcomes and that improvements are sustained over time. As populations age in many countries including the U.S., the number of strokes each year will skyrocket. Robotic therapy can help meet the increasing demand for treatment. While robotic therapy does not eliminate the need for skilled clinicians, it does allow the clinicians to oversee more than one patient efficiently.
There are neuro-restorative robots for both the upper and lower extremities. For upper extremity rehabilitation, InMotion offers arm, wrist and hand robots. For lower extremities, there is a Robotic Walking Coach and Ankle Exoskeleton Robot. Regardless of the extremity, the robots will help increase range of motion, coordination and strength improving functional mobility.
Dr. Krebs and his InMotion Robots are part of a series of presentations held for Bacharach clinicians this spring to introduce some of the newer technological rehabilitation resources on today’s market.