!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Computer-Assisted Rehabilitaton

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Computer-Assisted Rehabilitaton

Among the areas in which computers are contributing to improved training outcomes is rehabilitation of military personnel. For instance, last Fall the US Army opened a Military Advanced Training Center (MATC) at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC.

Computer-Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN), Military Advanced Training Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC
(Source: American Forces Press Service)

One of the tools used to speed rehab is the computer-assisted rehabilitation environment (CAREN), one of only three in the world at the time the MATC opened. As described in an article in the February 2008 issue of the Proceedings of the US Naval Institute (not online),1 CAREN, using virtual reality,
immerses service members in real-world scenarios to help them heal, practice, and train. The patient, harnessed in a standing position on a multi-axis platform, faces images projected onto a curved screen for three-dimensional realistic effect. Movement of the platform is synchronized with the screen projection, while CAREN uses cameras to record the patient's movement. These data help with rehabilitation, patient feedback, and research.
Examples of the scenarios the Walter Reed CAREN uses are described in a September 13, 2007 release provided by the American Forces Press Service:
In one scenario, the patients stand as if in a boat as it moves through a course.In other scenarios, patients are required to raise their hands while moving to hit objects that appear to be flying by. This helps patients become more stable and confident using their prosthetic devices.
It should be emphasized that the MATC is for patients who are ready for the advanced stages of rehabilitation that will enable them to transition back to home or active duty.

1 "A Healing Virtual Reality World," by Capt. Joseph A. Miller, MSC, US Army Reserve, and Col. Charles Scoville, US Army (ret.), Proceedings, US Naval Institute, vol. 134, February 2008, pp. 62-65.


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