HandTutor Augments Physical Therapy for Stroke Patients

A study was published in the EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE  on September 2011 that discusses the transfer of motor skill learning from the healthy hand to the paretic hand in stroke patients.

Drs. C.D. Ausenda  and M.Carnovali of the  Department of Rehabilitation, San Carlo Borromeo Hospital, Milan, Italy and the Department of Rehabilitation, Passirana Hospital, Garbagnate, Milan, Italy wrote that bilateral transfer of a motor skill is a phenomenon based on the observation that the performance of a skill with one hand can “teach” the same skill to the other hand. In this study the ability of bilateral transfer to facilitate the motor skill of the paretic hand in patients that suffered a stroke was tested.

A  nine hole peg test was used and no significant difference was found in the control group.
It was the first evidence that bilateral transfer of motor skills is present in patients that suffered a stroke, and that it can improve the ability of the affected hand.
The HANDTUTOR is a newly developed tool that allows for the strengthening of the motor skills in stroke patients.
The goal in rehabilitation is to return the patient’s functional ability to as near as possible to the pre event state. The stroke survivor wants and needs to become as independent as possible and  to relearn basic skills like eating, dressing and walking. This will preserve their dignity and reduce the burden on family carers and the community.
 Improving functional capability of the stroke patient is the main goal of the TUTOR system. The mainstay tool to improve functional ability post stroke of a physiotherapist and occupational therapist is manual therapy and intensive repetitve exercise practice. It is for this reason that major rehabilitation centers in the USA and abroad are using the  HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR. This newly developed TUTOR system optimizes motor, sensory and cognitive performance to allow the patient to better perform everyday functional tasks and improve quality of life.
Manual therapy with the TUTOR system uses augmented feedback and encourages motor learning through intensive active exercises.  The exercises that are done with the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUOR are tailored by the occupational and physiotherapist to the patient’s movement ability and are challenging and motivating. The system also includes objective quantitative evaluations that provide the therapist information to customize the most suitable rehabilitation program to the patient’s ability. The TUTOR system can also be used in an outpatient and home care setting. Physiotherapists and occupational therapists can offer their patients telerehabilitation with the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR system.

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