Pioneering Rehab Technology Installed at Sheltering Arms

Richmond, Virginia (November 9, 2010) – A new breakthrough in rehabilitative therapy that’s designed to help patients regain the ability to walk is now available for patient use at Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Hospital in Hanover County, VA, marking the first field implementation of the pioneering device anywhere in the country.

The first-of-its-kind device – called ZeroG – is the world’s most advanced body weight support system for overground walking and balance training. Sheltering Arms is the first health system in the nation to purchase and install the device. The system allows a patient to walk unencumbered across the room and keeps them safe from falls. Therapists are able to make adjustments from the patient’s side, using an iPod Touch that is connected wirelessly to the ZeroG.

ZeroG was developed by Bioness Inc., the Valencia, Calif.-based company that is recognized as the leading research and development firm in the field of rehabilitative technologies. The technology allows patients to begin intensive physical rehabilitation and weight-bearing exercises at the earliest possible stage in their recovery. It was developed and tested at the National Rehab Institute in Washington, D.C.

In addition to incorporating ZeroG into its regimen of rehabilitative care, Sheltering Arms will serve as a demonstration, education and training site, working with Bioness researchers and support staff on an ongoing basis.

“Sheltering Arms has had a longstanding commitment in embracing new and emerging technologies in rehabilitative care,” said James E. Sok, president and CEO of Sheltering Arms. “We are not only excited by the promise that ZeroG holds for our patients, but we are particularly proud to be selected by Bioness as the nation’s first implementer of this breakthrough device. We also look forward to serving as a regional training site for this and other new technologies as well as growing our partnership with Bioness, a firm that is a well respected leader in rehabilitative innovation.”

ZeroG uses an overhead track system with a sophisticated robotic trolley that is coupled to a high-tech harness. The system allows for precise reduction of a portion of the patient’s body weight that a trained therapist can adjust using a wireless interface. This results in a much broader array of possible therapeutic interventions and more normal movement despite weakness or disability. Training under these conditions allows earlier more aggressive walking therapy, while eliminating the risk of patient falls. Therapists are free to instruct, observe, or apply their own hands-on facilitation. The ZeroG is a perfect fit for the innovative programs at Sheltering Arms and is another example of the commitment to help patients find the power to overcome.

More information on ZeroG can be found on the Bioness website at this link: High resolution images and b-roll video of the ZeroG in action are available by request.

About Sheltering Arms
Sheltering Arms helps patients find the Power to Overcome the obstacles of illness and injury with a complete range of physical rehabilitation and wellness services. To learn more about Sheltering Arms’ two hospitals and eight outpatient clinics visit, call 1-877-56-REHAB, or connect with Sheltering Arms on Facebook andTwitter.

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