Telerehabilitation Used Successfully as a Tool for the HandTutor, ArmTutor, LegTutor and 3DTutor

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Writing in Disability Rehabilitation. Aug 25,2011 Dr.I. Cikajlo, et al of the University Rehabilitation Institute Ljubljana, Slovenia reports on that objective of telerehabilitation is to follow up to the hospital or clinic rehabilitation process in the patient’s home. The study compares balance training in a clinical environment with the telerehabilitation approach allowing physiotherapists and physicians to follow progress remotely. This paper presents a preliminary study or pilot project with virtual reality(VR) based tasks for dynamic standing frame supported balance training.

A total of

A total of six stroke patients participated in the study. The patients performed balance training for 3 weeks, with 2 weeks in the clinical setting and 1 week at home five times a week,with a session time for up to 20 minutes. Objective effectiveness was demonstrated by parameters as such as track time, number of collisions and with clinical scales including Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Timed Up & Go (TUG) and  10 meter walk test and standing on the unaffected and, affected extremity. The outcomes were compared to the balance training group without VR and telerehabilitation support. 

Results: In patients who were subject to VR supported balance training, it was seen that the BBS demonstrated improvement of 15%, and the TUG of 29%, and the 10-m walk of 26%. Objective follow-up showed that the patients preserved the gained functional improvement. 

Conclusions: The telerehabilitation approach in VR supported balance training improved balance in stroke patients had a similar effect on the patient’s posture based functional improvement as conventional balance training in the clinical settings. Balance training continued in the patient’s home instead of the hospital was seen to decrease the number of outpatient visits resulting in  reduced health costs and enabled treatment of a larger number of patients.

The HandTutor, ArmTutor, LegTutor and 3DTutor are designed to be used both in hospitals, clinics and at the patient’s home and are supported by telerehabilitation. The LegTutor is used to give isolated open and closed chain intensive hip and knee exercise which is essential for functional walking ability recovery. The Tutor system including the HandTutor and ArmTutor is used extensively and successfully for patients suffering from brain, head, spinal, Brachial Plexus, Radial and Ulnar nerve injuries , Parkinson’s, CP, MS, Development Coordination Disorders, and more. The Tutors are adaptable to children and adults.

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