The ability to use the upper and lower extremities can be compromised easily for several reasons. Conditions ranging from nervous system injuries to developmental disorders can result in loss of or reduced motor function.
Rehabilitation is an effective way to help such individuals, and the Pablo system is one of the latest technologies being used for rehabilitation. In this article, we will discuss the Pablo system in detail and how it functions as an effective tool in hand-arm rehabilitation.
What Is the PABLO System?
This system was developed by MindMaze, a company that focuses on developing tools for rehabilitation through virtual reality and artificial intelligence. The Pablo system is one of these tools but is mainly used to support the hands and upper extremities. It was designed using virtual reality (VR) to help individuals with motor impairments attain functional independence.
The Pablo System uses mainly sensors to help treat individuals across all age groups who suffer from neurological or musculoskeletal conditions such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, motor neuron diseases, and multiple sclerosis. It can also be used for those recovering from post-surgical procedures involving their arms and hands.
The majority of these ailments cannot be cured but managed through long-term, intensive rehabilitation, where the Pablo system comes in. Qualified healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, certified hand therapists, and other rehabilitation specialists use it today.
Advantages of the PABLO System
This therapy device has multiple benefits. A few of them are as follows:
- It is user-friendly as it has in-built games, which also help with cognitive therapy and make the therapy session fun.
- The system allows for objective assessment, reporting, and documenting simultaneously during therapy sessions in an electronic patient file to monitor progress, saving time.
- It is handy, wireless, and compact, making it well-suited for adults and children due to its ergonomic design.
- The rehabilitation process is tailored to your needs as its control settings can be adjusted, which means no matter what rehabilitation stage you are in, you will benefit from it.
- It is a sensor-based rehabilitation device effective for both unilateral and bilateral training of the extremities. The system does this by retraining the arm, hands, and fingers to grasp, pinch, reach, and lift while improving the lower limbs’ stability, balance, and flexibility.
- It also encourages patients to make movements. No matter how small they are, the sensors pick them, making them visible. By doing little, you can see results that motivate you to want to have more sessions to get better.
Components of the PABLO System
Quite a few components work together for this system to function. They can be classified into hardware and software components. Some hardware components include sensors, a VR headset, a personal computer, and other accessories. Each of them is described below:
They help detect a flicker of either hand or arm movements which aids in designing the exercises or activities you will engage in. The Pablo hand sensor can be connected to the computer using a USB cord. There is an interactive motion that works by giving audiovisual feedback. Then the results recorded from each session are fed into the therapy report and database.
These sensors also effectively measure the degree of grasp and release in each finger while assessing each digit's range of motion (ROM). The force applied in the process can also be observed and measured concerning this grip pattern, facilitating the use of the component for both assessment and therapy. These sensors can be the Pablo Multiboard, the Pablo Multiball, or the Pablo Motion sensors.
The motion sensors are designed in a way that they can be individually positioned, which makes them used in various forms of therapy. They can be used on the arms and the legs to detect traces of strength or movements. Measuring these joints help to show if there is compensatory movement involved in the patient’s motion which can then be corrected.
The multiball sensors help the hand pronate and supinate as well as extend and flex the wrist. It is so helpful with movement, even in very weak motor defects such as in flaccid hemiparesis. Multiboard sensors, on the other hand, help with repetitive exercises concerning proximal and distal parts of either single or multi joints. The sensor hand can be attached to multiball sensors using a flexible strap. Individuals with severe impairments can use multi-board sensors to avoid compensatory movements from the start of the session.
Additional accessories can also be used with the position sensors and other additional accessories to increase therapeutic options for patients with impairments.
Virtual Reality Headset
If you have ever played VR games, you are conversant with this. The Pablo system uses a headset, which is worn to provide a visual and auditory environment virtually. It is connected to a computer that operates it. During the session, the signals delivered to the brain generate various movements that are visible in the sensors.
Computer or Console
A personal computer or console is always needed to help run the software that creates the virtual environment. This component is connected to both the sensors and the headset, so it processes the data received and can send feedback to the patient. Notably, a crucial component of the Pablo system is biofeedback.
This makes this system work, as all its functioning is based on this. It provides all the games, exercises, and activities used during rehabilitation. The Pablo system operates on a primary software known as Tyro S. There is also a user interface that enables you or the therapist to interact with the software to select the preferred activity, adjust settings, and monitor the progress.
This refers to a type of rehabilitation concerned with improving or restoring the functional abilities of the hand and arm in individuals who suffer motor impairments or limitations. These impairments could be due to upper extremities injuries, illness, or other conditions. It helps restore hands and arms function, coordination, strength, and dexterity.
Hand-arm therapy involves the use of several therapeutic interventions, exercises, techniques, and the Pablo system is one of them.
How the PABLO System Operates in Hand-arm Rehabilitation
The system works by using games and other applications installed on a computer. These individuals cannot use the typical game consoles because they have motor impairments, so sensors are used instead. They are joined to the extremity or trunk's components that need to be retrained then signals sent are used to move and control the games being played on the pc.
The working mechanism of the Pablo system varies in functionality and features depending on the specific version, manufacturer, or preferred customization used in the clinical setting. The focus is on the patient, so it is customized to their needs. Generally, it operates following these steps:
- The hardware components of the system are first set up. The sensors and motion tracking devices are configured and calibrated to capture the patient's hand and arm movements accurately. Then, the VR headset is worn by the patient to begin.
- The system then conducts an assessment to determine the patient's baseline hand function, range of motion, and muscle and joint strength, amongst other things. This assessment helps the therapist select the type of games and activities to help attain the treatment goals set for the patient during the assessment.
- The virtual reality-based exercises or games that meet the patient's needs are selected. In the virtual environment, they may involve hand movements such as grasping, pinching, and releasing.
- Feedback such as visuals and auditory cues are then sent to the system based on the patient's performance to facilitate motor learning and skill acquisition. The difficulty of the exercises or games may be adjusted gradually depending on how the patient progresses.
- Then, the system monitors and tracks the patient's performance by documenting the time used, the quality of hand movement, accuracy, speed, and other relevant parameters. The therapist uses this collated data to assess the effectiveness of the therapy session and set further short-term goals, such as improving hand coordination and dexterity.
- Long-term goals can then be set to improve the ability to perform functional tasks like buttoning a shirt or picking up objects.
There is a connection between the therapy sessions and daily living routine regarding the motor learning process. In other words, rehabilitation is focused on training you to carry out movements that can be incorporated into the activities you carry out every day.
In summary, the Pablo system provides possibilities and alternatives in motor rehabilitation as a therapy device that no one thought would exist years back. It can be used in different body parts, including the shoulder, arms, hands, and trunk. It also proves that therapy can be made fun using the simplest activities. This system is all around in both hand-arm therapy and evaluation.
Certified hand therapists or other qualified healthcare professionals, such as occupational therapists or other rehabilitation specialists, should supervise using the Pablo system. These practitioners help provide guidance, monitor progress, and make sure the system is used safely and effectively. The patient can get quick and lasting results with its service and software.
List of Healthcare Providers Offering The PABLO System for Hand-Arm Therapy
Kliniken Schmieder Hospital Group
Established in 1950, Kliniken Schmieder have been steadfast in its goal of providing neurological patients optimal treatment. It consists of a network of six cohesive clinics, which have earned global recognition as a Competence Centre for Neurology.
Kliniken Schmieder Allensbach
Kliniken Schmieder Allensbach in the very south of Germany. The clinic has two wards for international patients in Allensbach that offers patients an exclusive atmosphere with food and beverage adapted to their cultural needs.
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