Please enjoy Tara’s 2nd Neurochangers entry. Now that she has completed her licensing exams, Tara may become a regular contributor! If she gets 50 views of this post, we will add her as an author. No pressure Tara! (Helpful Hint: Take a page out of Jesses book, and have your dad continuously click on the link for a couple days)
When I started at Aim2Walk in September 2011, I had previously never seen the Bioness H200. This device is yet another example of using advances in technology to maximize the functional outcomes of our patients.
The H200 helps eliminate a lot of the setup time for electrical stimulation of the wrist. Rather than working out electrode placement and positioning the wrist in a neutral position, you just help the patient don the orthosis. Just by putting it on, the wrist is now splinted in a neutral position and 5 different electrodes are pre-positioned to assist with both extension and flexion of the wrist. It also includes pre-programmed exercise modes, making setup as easy as the touch of a button. Clinically, it’s very convenient and efficient, and after a quick training on its use I was setting up patients for therapeutic electrical stimulation. The greatest asset of the H200 seemed to be its efficiency and ease of use.
Matt, Krystin and I had the opportunity to attend additional training on the Bioness H200 unit, and it opened up even more alternative uses of this technology. In addition to using the H200 as TES (therapeutic electrical stimulation) it can be used as an FES (functional electrical stimulation) device. The main difference there is FUNCTION. As an FES device, the H200 can be used to assist patients in various grasp/release tasks. For instance, we watched a video of a man using his H200 to pour himself a glass of his favourite beverage (which happened to be beer!). Our trainer also encouraged us to try and think about the hand in relation to the rest of the arm, and the rest of the body. Instead of having a patient practice grasp/release tasks in their lap, why not have them reach forward using their elbow and shoulder joints at the same time? Or better yet, why not have them stand and reach- using their whole body and challenging their balance at the same time?
We have been implementing the H200 in some new and interesting ways lately. While we haven’t had anyone use it to pour themselves a beer in the clinic yet, I am looking forward to seeing what we come up with this year. As always, we are constantly looking for the best way to use this and all our advanced technology to help maximize our patients function!
Watch the H200 in action: