The Armeo® Therapy Concept addresses the changing needs of the recovering patient from early rehabilitation through to home therapy.
By launching the ArmeoPower, the world’s first commercially available robotic arm exoskeleton, the Swiss medical technology company Hocoma completes its concept for neurorehabilitation of upper extremity. The Armeo Therapy Concept is the first concept that covers the whole “Continuum of Rehabilitation”, from early rehabilitation through to home therapy. Based on the same software platform, the Armeo Therapy Concept allows for a continuous documentation and tracking of the patient’s training progress.
The Armeo Therapy Concept of the company Hocoma includes one platform with different products for upper extremity rehabilitation, each designed for a particular stage in the recovery process: the ArmeoPower for early rehabilitation of severely affected patients, the ArmeoSpring for patients who are beginning to regain active movement and ArmeoBoom for patients with mild to moderate movement impairments. The Armeo Therapy Concept is a therapy concept for individuals who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain injuries or neurological disorders resulting in hand and arm impairment. All devices offer adaptable features that enable an individual training setup according to the patient’s needs and therapy goals. Thereby, the Armeo Therapy Concept supports the changing abilities of the recovering patient and optimizes the therapy.
Motivating patients for a highly repetitive training
All devices of the Armeo Therapy Concept provide support for the affected arm and hand specifically required for the respective therapy stage – from robotic “assist-as-needed” support by the ArmeoPower through to low inertia arm weight support by the ArmeoBoom. The support counteracts the effects of gravity and facilitates self-initiated and repetitive movements in an extensive 3D workspace. This enables patients to use any remaining motor functions and to perform goal-oriented reach and grasp exercises with a higher number of repetitions, which is paramount for relearning motor function.
To motivate the patient for active therapy participation, the Augmented Feedback offers an extensive library of motivating game-like exercises. “I can’t over-emphasize how important it is that the effort in the Armeo therapy is self initiated”, explains Louise Rutz-LaPitz, the director of Therapy and Training at the Rheinburg-Klinik in Switzerland. “In hands-on therapy, the initiation often comes from the therapist. With Armeo therapy, it’s coming from the patient’s own brain.” Immediate performance feedback helps patients to improve their motor abilities, leading to more independence in daily routine and therefore better quality of life.
Improved therapy efficiency and documentation
The Armeo devices improve therapy efficiency by reducing the therapist’s physical effort and the need for continuous therapeutic guidance. By enabling self-directed therapy, the devices give the therapist the possibility to supervise more than one patient at a time and to make better use of their clinical know-how and expertise. Furthermore the software of the Armeo products precisely records how patients perform during their therapy sessions and offers standardized Assessment Tools to evaluate specific motor functions. The provided data and results can be used to analyze and document the patient’s state and therapy progress.
Successfully applied in clinics and research centers worldwide
Many Armeo devices are successfully applied in clinics worldwide and have been reviewed by independent research groups in various publications. For example, one of the studies with the ArmeoSpring showed better long term outcomes in motor ability compared to conventional therapy and that the ArmeoSpring therapy is the preferred therapy choice of patients. Another group proved significant improvement of the active range of motion and motor ability with the ArmeoBoom , and a pilot trial with the ArmeoPower demonstrated that the therapy of severely and moderately affected stroke patients is safe and effective . “I am convinced that a real limitation in rehabilitation could be overcome, if we could encourage the active participation of the patients, and extend it over prolonged rehabilitation period”, explains Prof. Dr. J. S. Rietman, the Scientific Director Roessingh Research and Development from Enschede, The Netherlands.
A list of all publications with Armeo devices can be found online at https://www.hocoma.com/products/armeo/.