New Technology Invigorates Neuro-Rehab Program

Continuing to advance patient care through the fusion of rehab technology, Barrow has added and upgraded to the latest state of the art tools to evaluate and treat persons with neurological impairment:

The EKSO Robotics GT is used as a gait training device for medically cleared patients who have various levels of paralysis or hemiparesis due to neurological conditions. The wearable robotic suit allows for very weak patients to be upright and ambulating much sooner than would be possible with traditional gait training activities.

photo of phoenix neuro-rehabilitation specialist christina kwasnica
Barrow Neuro-Rehabilitation Specialist Christina Kwasnica, MD

Dr. Christina Kwasnica, Medical Director for the Neuro Rehabilitation Center notes, “The EKSO robotic device allows us to get patients up on their feet earlier. The gains we see are overwhelming and the positive effects on a patient’s mood and motivation is unbelievable.”

Barrow is the only center offering this robotic device in the Southwest tri state region of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. Four Physical Therapists are currently certified in the use of the EKSO and use the device up to 6 hours per day. The Neuro Rehab Unit initiated this program in January and has used the EKSO on approximately 50 patients.

Current treatment of visual field impairments, motor control and cognition are done through traditional manual activities. Three Bioness Integrated Therapy Systems (BITS), a high-tech portable and interactive device featuring a touch screen to assess and treat dysfunction related to motor control, vision, and cognition, have been installed throughout the Barrow Rehab levels of care. The system, through 16 software programs has the ability to integrate multiple facets of training and relearning to optimize neurological patient outcomes.

During more traditional passive therapy, muscles do not actually do any of the work as extremities are moved manually. The Neuro Rehab Unit and in the Out Patient Neuro Rehabilitation programs can offer the use of the RT 300 arm and leg devices to provide patients functional electrical stimulation (FES) that stimulate nerves, evoking contractions and patterned muscle activity even though the muscle may be weak or paralyzed as the result of neurological disease or injury.

New technology has replaced the existing equipment in the Balance and Vestibular Center for the assessment and treatment of vestibular neurological and balance conditions. The Neurocom Balance Master Smart Equitest System assesses sensory and motor control pathways for the maintenance of static and dynamic balance as well as postural control. The Balance Master VSR Sport System provides data for balance control, specifically in the athlete and concussion populations. An inter-acoustic video frenzied camera system provides clinician improved diagnostic accuracy and efficiency in assessing eye movements in the treatments of peripheral and central vestibular dysfunction.