Better Care

Robo-rehab assessment

Patients and staff at Moseley Hall Hospital have taken part in an evaluation exercise to explore the potential of a state-of-the-art robotic exoskeleton to support the rehabilitation of people recovering from a stroke.

Named ‘REX’, the robotic lower-limb support can be used to lift patients from a sitting position into a supported standing position and allow them to take part in a set of supported walking and stretching exercises designed by therapists to help achieve rehabilitation goals.

The evaluation, involving rehabilitation service occupational therapists, physiotherapists and patients, forms part of a programme of technology evaluations to explore the equipment’s usability and potential benefits.

Specialist neuro physiotherapist Jeremy Newton said: “REX was designed for patients with spinal injuries and we were asked to help assess the usability of the equipment for rehab patients, in particular people who have had a stroke, but also for people with other conditions that affect their movement.

Robo rehab Rex

“This evaluation has been a great chance for BCHC clinicians and patients to gain an insight into the potential for the use of exoskeletal equipment in rehabilitation and for their opinions to form part of that development work.”

Innovation manager Hamid Zolfagharinia said: “A lot of planning and hard work has gone into this piece of work and the team at Moseley Hall has done a fantastic job of evaluating Rex from the perspective of both staff and patients.”

The project was a collaboration with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust’s Healthcare Technology Co-operative (HTC), which arranged the rental of the equipment and ‘backfill’ cover for BCHC staff involved in the project.