New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland (NERHP)
While rehabilitation always has been - and continues to be - a high-touch discipline, recent technological innovations have further advanced rehabilitation care, contributing to improved patient outcomes. Innovative technologies available at NERHP include:
- VitalStim Therapy®
- New therapy for oropharyngeal dysphagia based on a specialized form of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to re-educate the muscles of the pharynx. Improves quality of muscle contraction and swallow function by retraining the affected muscles.
- Sophisticated robotics power lower extremities in a bodyweight-supported treadmill training to help restore normal gait patterning.
- Interactive Metronome®
- A computer based metronome uses sound and rhythm to improve attention, sequencing, and motor planning by using neuro-sensory and neuro-motor exercises developed to improve the brain's inherent ability to repair or remodel itself.
- This custom, dynamic hand orthosis features a spring-loaded finger extension system that assists in re-opening the digits following functional grasping, maximizing hand and arm function, particularly in stroke survivors.
- Bioness H200
- This advanced therapy system uses mild electrical stimulation to improve hand and arm function in a paralyzed upper extremity.
- Bioness L300
- This advanced therapy system uses mild electrical stimulation to decrease foot drop during gait.
- FES Bicycle
- Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) uses transcutaneous electrical current to initiate contractions of paralyzed lower extremities, with the order and strength of contractions sequenced by a computer microprocessor to generate controlled and purposeful motion. With this system, patients can pedal a leg ergometer or specially adapted exercise bike.
- BTE: A multipurpose tool which allows simulation of multiple different activities of daily living and work tasks and tracks progress through a computer program. This facilitates motor recovery by allowing individuals to practice life tasks.
- Dynavision: Allows the therapist to assess and treat visual and perceptual issues resulting from a neurological deficit impacting daily activities.
- Motomed: Consist of an upper and lower extremity motor driven cycle which provides on the assistance needed to allow an individual with partial paralysis to cycle and therefore build strength and endurance.
- Walk aide: Designed to address issues with foot drop during gait, this system uses sophisticated sensor technology and mild electrical stimulation to analyze an individuals unique movement and develop a stimulation pattern for gait.
- Virtual Reality: Virtual reality systems like the Nintendo® Wii™ allow individuals to improve balance, coordination, and timing in a safe environment by using simulated activities requiring a response from the individual and providing feedback on performance.
- Hand Mentor: A combination of a hand splint designed to sense and react to spasticity and movement with motivating therapeutic games actively involves the patient in their rehabilitation by encouraging self-initiated motion in the wrist and fingers, and assisting movement only when necessary, reducing spasticity and increasing movement and control.
Other notable neurorehabilitation initiatives at NERHP include bracing and orthotics, community re-entry, peer visits, spasticity management, neuropsychology and pre-driving evaluations. Equally important, MMC and NERHP offer a range of patient and family education and support services including stroke, aphasia and brain injury support groups. To learn more about NERHP, please visit www.nerhp.org