The flawed rollout of the healthcare.gov website reinforces that old adage that sometimes “Slow and steady wins the race”. If the Obama administration had allowed an extended testing period of the website before offering it to the public, many of the initial glitches might well have been resolved. Healthcare’s evidence-based orientation often puts it at odds with the breathtaking speed at which technology is changing the world we live in. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the areas of robotics and brain-movement interfaces. Biomechanical engineering is building on the advances of the past to expand the capabilities of modern prosthetics and improve rehabilitative delivery systems. Innovations in healthcare are driven by a desire to facilitate and improve therapeutic outcomes and may come from the most unlikely of resources.
For example, Honda, as a “mobility” company, has been dabbling in humanoid robots since the 1980’s, primarily as marketing tool. With the introduction of Asimo in 2000, it sought to elevate robots from simple machinery, to autonomous devices capable of adjusting to their environment. Thirteen years later and building on Asimo’s technologies, a Walking Assist Device to improve mobility in stroke victims is in clinical trials at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Meanwhile, MIT’s Tangible Media Group (TMG) has been focusing on giving physical form to digital information. inForm, a monitor displaying both light and shape, is a sophisticated version of the pinscreen invented by artist Ward Fleming in 1976. It enables remote users to interact tactilely, a capability missing from telecommunications. Along with other applications, TMG is pursuing the use of inForm in medical simulations, including functional and neural rehabilitations.
Technology must drive innovation without dictating innovation. This is true in any field, including the field of human resources. If you are looking for employment as a PT, PTA, CHT, OT, COTA, SLP or Director of Rehabilitation contact the Centra Team at 800 535 0076 or download our mobile app… and let us put our innovative and cutting edge technology to work for you!