George Institute researchers use modern technologies in stroke rehabilitation

The Institute’s innovative AMOUNT trial is investigating the use of modern technology as a treatment tool for stroke patients, as well as those who have suffered from heart attack and brain injury.

The program, currently implemented at Bankstown Hospital, in Sydney’s west, uses of a range of gaming technologies and stepping tiles to improve rate of recovery and independence after stroke and brain injury.

The ABC has featured George Institute Australia researchers Professor Cathie Sherrington and Dr Leanne Hassett to explore the difference the AMOUNT trial can make to patients during the rehabilitation process.

"There's quite a lot of diversity in the range of problems that people experience after a stroke or a brain injury," Lead Author Professor Sherrington said.

"So it's likely that different technologies will be more suited to different individuals."

Dr Leanne Hassett, a Research Fellow at the George Institute, said that some of the games include those that are available on the commercial market such as Xbox and Nintendo Wii.

"Then we have some that have been developed specifically for rehabilitation that are a similar sort of 'exer-gaming' type technologies," she said.

"And then we have a stepping tile system which was developed specifically for the trial."

Dr Hassett said rehabilitation is a long and often difficult task, but the more practice patients do, the better the outcomes.

"It's really difficult for patients to do lots of practice and to keep standing up and sitting down ... doing multiple repetitions."

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