b'Medicine & Research I nnnoovvaattiioonnssiinnInRReehhaabbiilliittaattiioonnMMeeddiiciinneecWhere Creativity and Usefulness Converge By Deborah Backus, PT, Phd, FACRMThe spectrum of innovative solutions inpractice at high repetitions. This has been rehabilitation medicine is widening at anshown to improve learning and potentially astounding pace and promises to help manyneuroplasticity, or the brains ability to people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis.reorganize by unveiling or creating new Whether the new solution is adapting existingpathways. Some believe that patients are more technologies or applications, or the creationengaged and motivated to accomplish tasks of new approaches, many innovations showwhen robotics are combined with video games promise for helping people with MS realizeor provide feedback about performance to a better function, health, and wellness. Knowingpatient.what is available and considering how a givenRobotic devices can be used during physical innovation might apply to your specic needsor occupational therapy sessions to retrain is the key to nding creative solutions to helpmovements. In addition, they can also be used you do what you want to do. Here are some ofin the home or community when a functional thenewestinnovationsinrehabilitationability, such as walking, is no longer possible medicine that might help people with MS.without external support. Robotics Two types of rehabilitation robotic devices The development of robotics has beenon the market are wearable exoskeletons and gaining momentum in rehabilitation medicine.xedexoskeletons.Wearableexoskeletons Rehabilitation robotics provide physical supportare comprised of suits or braces. Two that are during functional movements, such as walking,currently on the market for walking are ReWalk or using the arms and hands. They can help toRobotics, and Ekso Bionics. Still others are retrain or support movement through sensorsbeing developed and studied.that monitor, assist, or provide support for a givenFixed exoskeletons include the Lokomat movement. The sensors can gather informationand the ArmeoSpring. The Lokomat combines about how the individual is performing theirrobotic support of the lower trunk and legs actions. Thus, the devices can assist where anwith an overhead harness to control how much individual needs help with the movement. weight is on the legs while walking on a treadmill. Robotic devices also offer a way for patientsThe ArmeoSpring involves completing tasks to achieve a much higher number of repetitionson a computer screen while the robotic of movements more correctly than they couldexoskeleton supports the arm and hand. In otherwise in a traditional therapy session.both cases, a therapist controls the variables This type of assistance generates better specicof these devices to ensure that the patient is msfocusmagazine.org 22'