The joint work of medical staff, engineers and researchers at the Santa Lucia Foundation ensures the use of several novel technologies to support rehabilitation. Robotic systems of movement, brain-computer interfaces (BCI), immersive virtual reality are just some of the technologies underlying our treatment protocols. The Hospital is also equipped with the service of diagnostic imaging with MRIs, both open and closed (inclusive of 3 Teslamodel) and modern technologies for the conduct of functional resonance.
Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI)
The brain-computer interface (BCI) systems work with electrodes placed on the patient's head, which monitor electrical signals in the brain. The signals, translated into computer commands, determine the virtual representation of the brain action and reaction. In the rehabilitation of stroke patients, stimulating the brain to take action will help it to recover, with rehabilitative methods, such capabilities as damaged limb movement. In other cases, the brain-computer interfaces (BCI) are used to take advantage of neurofeedback techniques that stimulate cognitive functions, such as attention or working memory. Another advantage of brain-computer interfaces is that they offer the therapist the opportunity to observe real-time brain activity. This provides information that can confirm the effectiveness of therapy, or allow adjustment in a timely manner.
The exoskeleton is a robotic instrument that returns upright and walking opportunities to people who have lost the functional use of their legs. The recovery of the ability to stand and move upright has many positive effects on different organs and functions, combating in particular the cardio-circulatory, nervous, muscular and intestinal problems caused by prolonged wheelchair confinement. At the Santa Lucia Foundation there is the active ReWalk Training Center, which provides training courses using “ReWalk”, a model exoskeleton designed for private use in daily life (other models of exoskeletons are available and intended to be used exclusively in the rehabilitation hospital).
Armeo Power is designed to support automated functional recovery of the upper limbs in patients with disorders of neurological origin. A mechanical arm, controlled electronically and applied to the upper limb of the patient, helps the performance of motion exercises. The patient is encouraged to become an active participant by having to follow the process on a monitor in the form of game.
Gait Trainer is an electromechanical device that allows you to do walking exercises relieved from body weight. It consists of a metal frame with sling that supports the patient in an upright position and a rotating carpet that allows him to walk on the spot. The device is useful in stimulating early motor skills in the early recovery patient and assisting those patients who have not recovered physical strength and balance skills necessary to walk without aid.
The medical device uses electrical stimulation to facilitate the functional recovery of the foot, recover equilibrium and to improve the speed and capacity of walking. Neuro-orthesis treats the disorder called "foot drop". It is a disease most often caused by neuropathies, but which can also have other causes. The subject is no longer able to keep the foot elevated, causing problems walking. WalkAide has shown positive results with this condition.
This equipment allows the performance of motion exercises and balance with the help of virtual reality. Immersion in virtual environment reinforces the motivation of the patient and returns real-time feedback on the success or failure of his movements. The upper limb interacts with the equipment by means of a support provided via wireless connection. The balance recovery and rehabilitation of the lower limbs is done by positioning the patient on a platform equipped with sensors. A monitor recreates virtual environments in which the patient has to perform actions that lead to rehabilitating movement.
It is a horizontal interactive monitor (about the size and shape of a table), that allows different exercises for the stimulation of cognitive function, especially in elderly patients with moderate deficiencies. A separate module was developed for the rehabilitation of executive functions such as attention in preventing falls. Other functions can be stimulated with Sociable: such as memory, orientation, visual-spatial skills, constructive apraxia.