Robert J. McIver, PT, DPT, NCS
Director of Clinical Technology and Wellness
Brooks Neuro-Recovery Center Jacksonville, FL
We have had the ICARE at Brooks Rehabilitation for over 2 years now. It is one of our most highly utilised pieces of equipment. We use the ICARE to treat patients with any gait or balance impairments regardless of diagnosis; Orthopaedic, Neurologic, Geriatric, Bariatric, and Paediatric. The patients and staff love using the ICARE due to the versatility it provides as well as the ease of set up. The adjustability of speed and stride length ensure that training is customised to each patient and their specific needs. We have patients who come in just to use the ICARE in our independent programme to maintain their health and quality of life.
The staff that uses it enjoy that we can provide longer sessions of stepping with less assist from other staff and less need to muscle through a locomotor session on the treadmill. It also provides a way to increase stepping in a safe environment that we can work on functional tasks such as reaching and trunk rotations while the lower legs are moving to increase dynamic balance. Mostly, staff and patients like the fact that regardless of the level of function of the patient the ICARE provides the means to deliver a cardiovascular workout that no other machine can deliver.
We had a patient with a lumbar plexus palsy that was not able to generate a static EMG in his doctor’s office, but when using the ICARE at a higher speed was able to generate a dynamic EMG. After months of rehab using the ICARE the patient was able to return to running and playing with his children with no assistive devices. His prognosis prior to this discovery and intervention would be all standing and walking tasks would need a locking knee brace.
Overall, the ICARE is a very affordable piece of rehabilitation technology that allows any clinician to deliver a highly intense intervention that can be geared toward any patient population.
NextStep Orlando (Previously Project Walk Orlando)
Project Walk Orlando’s mission is to provide those living with spinal cord injuries the opportunity to achieve their greatest recovery potential and an increased quality of life. Our mission is fulfilled by providing specialised one-on-one, cutting-edge, aggressive and comprehensive exercise-based programmes. The ICARE system has played an integral role in helping our clients and staff achieve this mission.
The ICARE system is utilised on a daily basis during clients exercise programmes to provide an intensive cardiovascular and gait training workout. From a client and staff perspective, the ICARE has been a successful addition to our facility, allowing for an efficient setup and for the trainer to ensure the client is in a comfortable and safe position. Clients are able to achieve thousands of steps on the ICARE system which supports the repetitive movement science of SCI training. In addition to this, clients are able to make use of the feedback function where if they move the elliptical faster than the motor speed the machine lets them know. This function always increases their effort and motivation during the workout.
Various factors weighed into the decision to fundraise and purchase the ICARE System for PWO. These include the systems ability to improve our clients’ fitness, circulation and function in a manner which is less labour intensive on trainers. The ICARE can provide our clients with 1000’s of steps that would typically require multiple trainers, assistants and a lot of time.