Longer Hospital Stays are Harmful
Slower rehabilitation progress can also cause additional problems for the patient. The longer a patient spends in the hospital, the higher chance of complications. According to a United States government report, 29 percent of patients in rehabilitation hospitals experience some setbacks in healing, such as infections or medication errors.2 More efficient and effective rehabilitation practices can get patients healing faster and home sooner.
The Solution? Robotic Rehabilitation Technologies
Inpatient rehabilitation can be made more effective with the addition of robotic rehabilitation technologies in a field with declining therapist numbers. Occupational therapy is greatly needed and hospitals are understaffed; as of 2015, scientists predict that demand for OT services will continue to exceed supply in all 50 US states should current trends continue.3 Furthermore, a 2018 study suggests that technology is underutilized by physical and occupational therapists, and patients report boredom and desire for greater autonomy during their rehabilitation.4 Considering the little time spent in active therapy, this boredom is of little surprise.
With Robotics, Increase Outcomes and Decrease Effort
The brain requires hundreds of repetitions to incorporate or re-learn a motor skill; robotic assistance appears to help patients complete the high volume of exercise required for optimal recovery. A meta-analysis of over 1700 patients shows that robotic training is at least as effective as conventional training for upper limb and mild lower limb impairment, but patients with severe lower limb impairment receive better rehabilitation outcomes with robotics.5
Robotic assistance can provide consistent, objective, engaging feedback to help get patients get better faster by increasing efficiency in their rehabilitation therapy. With robotic technology, not only can more time be devoted to rehabilitation, but human therapist effort is minimized/reduced, and the time spent is then optimized for faster healing. Click here to find more information on how robotic solutions can increase therapy outcomes.