High technology is increasingly integrating into clinical equipment from evaluation rooms to IT infrastructure. Devices such as strength and cardio equipment that once provided a simple platform for therapeutic activity now offer a digital profile of the user’s performance. Those users range from serious athletes or weekend warriors to those affected by work injury, and individuals working to recover walking function after stroke. This showcase highlights some of the latest technologies that are expanding the ability to capture this data and use it in the PT clinic.
Gait Trainer 3
Biodex Medical Systems Inc
The new Gait Trainer 3 from Biodex, Shirley, NY, utilizes an instrumented deck that issues audio and visual biofeedback to prompt patients into their correct gait pattern. Step length, step speed, and right-to-left time distribution (step symmetry) are directly addressed. The new Microsoft SQL Database allows data storage and retrieval with export to Excel for reporting and analytics. Improve documentation of rehab effectiveness with automated G-code calculations and impairment level reports. Objective documentation, with comparison to age- and gender-based normative data, helps prove need and document outcomes. Biodex recently launched a Music-Assisted Therapy Package to facilitate specific gait patterns. This combination of technology and music connects cognitive and motor rehabilitation for movement disorders.
DST8000 TriplePro Stair Trainer
Clarke Health Care Products Inc
Clarke Health Care Products, Oakdale, Pa, introduces the Dynamic Stair Trainer DST8000 TriplePro. This stair trainer is made to help motivate and increase patients’ rehabilitation and make easy work for therapists’ reports. Stair training has come into the digital age. Electronically elevating steps allow clients to start stair climbing at a level appropriate to their ability. The DST8000 TriplePro has remote-controlled elevating steps and an incline that rises from a flat plane to 6.5 inches. A computer displays patients’ performance in past and current sessions. DST Factor summarizes the patient’s status and estimated potential for future improvement. Reports can be printed for study and comparison. The DST8000 TriplePro, available from Clarke Health Care Products, is built to take stair training to the highest level of technology.
Dual Inclinometry Systems
JTECH, Midvale, Utah, develops technologies that aim to provide an exceptional standard for objective range of motion testing. JTECH’s dual inclinometry systems provide repeatable, consistent test results for all large extremity and spine range of motion. JTECH software automatically captures and records range of motion data without pausing to write down the results, saving you time and avoiding transcription errors. Easily show patients’ progress throughout their treatment and how their performance compares to established range of motion normative data. Create colorful reports that display objective range of motion data, patient progress, statistics, and even references to peer-reviewed, published materials that support the therapist’s findings. More information is available on the company’s website to help determine which JTECH system is an optimum fit for a practice’s needs.
Dynatronics Corp, Salt Lake City, has worked to develop one device that aims to do it all: the Solaris Plus. Delivering 6 Stim waveforms, including IFC, Premod, Biphasic, Russian, High Volt, Microcurrent, and Fixed Frequency IFC/Premod, the Solaris Plus is designed to provide even more functions. It offers 3-frequency ultrasound and the option of adding ThermoStim, a soft tissue manipulation tool, and Tri-Wave Light Therapy, delivering any combination of 3-wavelengths of light (red, infrared, and blue) using probe or light pads. Solaris Plus can deliver up to five channels of stim, ultrasound, and tri-wave tight therapy through both probe and pads—all at the same time.
CIR Systems Inc / GAITRite
Made to be a truly portable pressure-sensitive walkway with a quick, 5-minute setup measuring temporal spatial parameters, GAITRite can provide easy identification of gait anomalies. The system is available from Franklin, NJ-based CIR Systems Inc, and offered in various lengths that record and analyze multiple gait cycles in a single walk. This allows accurate testing of patients with or without shoes, using assistive devices and ambulatory aids—crutches, walkers, or canes. The 14-foot GAITRite system contains seven sensor pads encapsulated in a roll-up carpet, producing an active area 24 inches (61 cm) wide and 168 inches (427 cm) long. The active area is a grid, 48 by 336 sensors placed on .5-inch (1.27 cm) centers, totaling 16,128 sensors. GAITRite is built to provide robust reporting and web publishing options to document current conditions and track recovery/rehabilitation.
Hoggan Scientific LLC
The wireless microFET2 muscle tester is a digital handheld dynamometer that measures muscle strength, by recording and conveying an individual’s ability to exert force. It is a modern adaptation of the time-tested art of hands-on manual muscle testing, providing objective, reliable, and quantifiable results. It weighs less than 1 pound, and its ergonomic design fits comfortably in the palm of the hand. MicroFET2 features easy-to-read LCD displays that show peak force and time, 300-pound force capacity, user-selectable units of measure, high and low threshold settings, and rechargeable battery. Made to be used as a standalone device or wireless with available clinical or data collection software.
MS300 Semi-Recumbent Stepper
Spirit Fitness, Jonesboro, Ark, offers the MS300 to facilitate total-body exercise with no joint impact. It provides a coordinated, linear motion with a 1:1 leg to arm ratio. The self-adjusting stride length accommodates patients’ specific range of motion, relieving stress on hips, knees, and ankles in a semi-recumbent position. The unique, quadrilateral exercise pattern allows users to distribute effort across all limbs. Those limbs exerting more force can lead the less involved limbs in functional movements and maintain an elevated heart rate. With a watt range of 5 to 750, it allows for a low starting inertia when beginning to exercise and enough resistance for a challenging workout. The user-defined step range goes up to 12.5 inches to accommodate a wide range of user heights.
JTECH muscle testing is engineered to provide therapists the power to quickly and objectively quantify muscle strength. JTECH, headquartered in Midvale, Utah, offers systems that provide what the company describes as, “technology-based, scientifically proven, repeatable, consistent test results that therapists simply can’t get from manual methods.” JTECH software automatically calculates and identifies bilateral deficits and creates a history of improvement over time. When an exam is done, instead of spending hours documenting, JTECH systems provide multiple report generation options that display the exam data statistically and graphically to help prove medical necessity and treatment efficacy.
Thought Technology Ltd
The MyoTrac Infiniti from Thought Technology Ltd, Montréal West, Québec, Canada, can provide therapists additional insights about clients’ ability to contract and relax muscles. The MyoTrac Infiniti is a portable dual-channel Surface Electromyography (sEMG)—Muscle Stimulation (STIM) combination unit used in muscle rehabilitation and urinary incontinence. Deliver targeted and customized treatment for a variety of applications, including patellofemoral pain, low back pain, range of motion, disuse atrophy, and circulation. The total integration of the two modalities of sEMG and NMES in a single device provides a third modality of treatment—sEMG-STIM, with capabilities for EMG-Triggered Stimulation and Alternating EMG & STIM.
Zeno Electronic Walkway
Available from Havertown, Pa-based ProtoKinetics, the Zeno Electronic Walkway (Zenometrics) powered by PKMAS software (ProtoKinetics) is a popular “gait mat” technology used worldwide. Exceptional versatility is engineered into this equipment that can capture balance, walking, running, jumping, turning, sit-to-stand, TUG, etc. The literature indicates more falls occur during transitional movements than during straight-line walking; in addition, postural control, dynamic balance, and transitional gait performance [starting, turning, braking] are critical components to quantify in clinical practice. That is why the company developed the PKMAS Primary Gait Screen (PGS). The PKMAS PGS addresses transitional movements in a single test (typically performed in less than 1 minute). It is built to be extremely easy to administer and offers immediate results that require no editing.