AT Shriners Hospitals for Children, using the latest technological advances to enhance patient care takes many forms. Here are a few examples:
Providing adaptive equipment to let kids be kids
Some of Shriners Hospitals for Children locations, including those in Chicago and Salt Lake City, have programs that raise funds to provide specialized, adapted bikes to children with mobility impairments. These bikes help the kids achieve a variety of therapy goals, including improving range of motion, strength and balance. The bikes also provide opportunities for social interaction with peers and basic exercise.
Tapping into interactive possibilities
Another treatment tool is the TAP-it (Touch Accessible Platform Interactive Technology), in place at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital. The TAP-it is an interactive platform that is operated by any means of touch and allows children of all abilities to use the Internet, educational software and communication devices. The height and angle of the device can be adjusted, allowing access to children who are using wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility devices. The TAP-it helps develop upper-body strength, improve balance and increase range of motion.
Improving a range of skills
One of the goals of therapy at Shriners Hospitals for Children is to help patients be successful in their daily routines. The therapists at the Shriners Erie Outpatient Specialty Care Center use the Sanet Vision Integrator (SVI) to help patients improve visual-motor integration skills by focusing on a range of issues, including attention span, handwriting, fine motor delays and visual-motor and perceptual delays. The SVI’s 13 vision training programs, with hundreds of variations, can be used to help children with a variety of diagnoses, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, fine motor/visual-motor delays, developmental disabilities and sports injuries.
Making walking a real possibility
Locomotor training using equipment that helps to support a patient’s body weight is helping some patients with spinal cord injuries improve or gain walking ability. Studies conducted involving people with both acute and chronic SCI (spinal cord injury) have shown that it can be possible for patients with motor-incomplete paraplegia or tetraplegia, who still have some feeling or ability to move after their injury, to improve their ability to walk with body-weight-supported training on a treadmill. Shriners Hospitals in Philadelphia and Chicago offer this therapy technique, which provides tremendous therapeutic opportunities to their patients with SCI, as well as those with other conditions that affect walking, such as limb deficiencies, cerebral palsy and arthrogryposis.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system with 22 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Its staff is dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, conducting innovative research, and offering outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.
To learn more about the ways Shriners Hospitals for Children is using technology to provide additional benefits to its patients, visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org. North American Precis Syndicate