COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - The prototype of future rehab for stroke patients and others suffering injuries was shown off and put through its paces at Penrose St. Francis Health Services. It's a computer set up called Neumimic.
Neumimic is a sort of fancy video game to allow therapists to set parameters for rehab therapy and allow the patients to follow through on them. Patients can improve their range of motion by seeing it tracked on a computer screen. One color on the screen indicates what therapists want the patient to work on during treatment. The other color shows a patient's progress to get closer to the other color on the screen and to improve the range of motion.
Dr. Glen House is Medical Director at Penrose's Rehabilitation Center. He came up with the idea of Neumimic and went to the Air Force Academy's non-profit think tank called FalconWorks. FalconWorks worked with Cadets to come up with the prototype. Dr. House tells me this kind of research will be groundbreaking and fun, "It is something fun. It incorporates a kind of game mentality to it and goals to reach for the patient. All around, everyone enjoys it.
This part of Neumimic is a work in progress and only a couple of dozen patients over the past couple of weeks have been using it for therapy. It's hoped that by the end of this year, it could be taken to a company and licensed.
The second part of Neumimic is still in the lab at the Air Force Academy. It's a special brace that's being worked on to eventually be linked to the computer component of the Neumimic. The brace will also help someone complete a specific range of motion therapy. This final version of this brace may not be ready until next year.