Supporting patients, staff and research at UCLH

Robot rehabilitation for upper limb

We purchased a stroke rehabilitation robot to offer an alternative approach to conventional hands-on rehabilitation therapy. This improves patients' chances of recovery and increases the hospital's capacity to treat inpatients for stroke rehabilitation.

A patient using the Armeo Spring

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What was achieved?

The use of Armeo Spring at UCLH improved the stroke rehabilitation service. It increased the number of in-patients by 33% without decreasing therapy time and contributes to and enriched and motivating environment for patients.

Maximising patient rehabilitation and recovery

Stroke is a major health problem in the UK, which affects approximately 110,000 people in England each year.

Although stroke mortality has reduced significantly over recent years, prevalence of the medical condition has increased and people are now surviving with long-standing disability. This population will require access to an already overstretched rehabilitation service.

NICE guidelines outline that long term stroke rehabilitation requires at least 45 minutes of therapy 5 days per week. Repetitive task training is a usual method which normally consists of “hands on” therapy, delivered by a band seven physiotherapist.

To add to this service, UCLH Charity applied funding for an Armeo Spring rehabilitation robot, which has been proven to offer equivalent benefits as the more conventional “hands on” therapy, whilst being self-initiated – requiring only a physiotherapist assistant to accompany the patient.

Thanks to the grant, UCLH became the first NHS hospital in the UK to practise rehabilitation with an Armeo Spring robotic device, and feedback from patients has been 100% positive - Many patients have commented that the robot offers a “more beneficial” and “less boring” alternative to conventional rehabilitation.

Dr Nick Ward, consultant neurologist, summarises the benefits that Armeo Spring brings to UCLH. “The robot improves patient experience and allows us to deliver the highest possible intensity of therapy thereby maximizing a patient’s chances of achieving their goals. It also increases our capacity to treat in-patients by providing high intensity therapy that can be easily supervised.”

What else?

The charity has purchased a further rehabilitation robot device, the Tyromotion. This focusses more specifically on finger and hand rehabilitation and improves the UCLH rehabilitation programme even further.

Environment and equipment

We fund new and innovative equipment so patients receive the best possible care. We also fund improvements to hospital spaces, making them more pleasant for patients and staff alike

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