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Lifelike Robot Provides Innovative Rehabilitation Treatment for Patients
Date:6/17/2009

Wisconsin's Sacred Heart Hospital enhances patient experience with Pleo dinosaur

EAU CLAIRE, Wis., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Looking beyond the physical and occupational therapy norms, Sacred Heart Hospital's Physical Rehabilitation Center introduced a new team member who is making a positive impact on patient care. A responsive, animated and walking robotic Pleo Dinosaur is being used in the rehabilitation of patients, both physically and emotionally. The dinosaur presents an alternative to other "conventional" means of therapy such as pulley systems or utilizing light weights.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090617/CL34130)

A study by Saint Louis University has demonstrated the alleviation of loneliness of patients when connecting with companion robotics. The research provides strong support for the success of using robotic devices for patient rehabilitation, including increased cognitive responses and enhanced motor skills.

"The 3.5 pound robotic dino is easy to lift and has been particularly helpful in improving the strength and dexterity of patients without making the exercise feel like therapy," said Ben Johnson, Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist, Sacred Heart Hospital. "A lot of people have upper extremity problems causing weakness in their arms. The stroking of a pet provides huge benefits to patients, making their arms and hands stronger."

One such patient, Gary Sandvig, recently found strength working with the dino. Hospitalized after a motorcycle crash, the 48-year-old broke a leg and suffered a spinal cord injury that affected the use of his hands.

"It seemed like within a day of
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SOURCE Sacred Heart Hospital
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