MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital welcomed the latest ZeroG® technology to its arsenal of rehabilitation devices. The Aretech ZeroG® robotic body-weight support system was first installed at the hospital in 2008—the first installation worldwide. It quickly became a keystone of rehabilitation services for a variety of patients with a wide range of neuromuscular and orthopaedic diagnoses.
The technology provides dynamic bodyweight support for a host of functional activities including over-ground walking, sit to stand, getting off the floor, and climbing and descending stairs. The device was developed at MedStar NRH by Joseph Hidler, PhD. Today Hidler is CEO of Aretech, a medical device company.
The latest version of ZeroG® boasts some important refinements. “The new device includes the WaveLink communication protocol as an alternate method of controlling the ZeroG® when there is no WiFi signal,” explains Karen Hidler. Therapists utilize hand-held devices to control the interactive balance programs and games that patients experience. The new tool gives them a safe way to quickly switch connections.
A new dynamic fall recovery system called ActiveAssist adapts the dynamic body-weight support that cushions the fall for patients who may need assistance regaining control. “It compensates for those patients who are too weak to easily recover from a fall—and helps keep them feeling confident,” Hidler says. “And the new system restarts the therapy program automatically—therapists don’t have to restart the training session manually.” In addition, the newest version has been built to support heavier patients, up to 450 lbs.
Written by Emily Turk.