Futuristic system will help war vets
EDMONTON – The
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital announced it is acquiring a $1.75
million computer-assisted rehabilitation environment (CAREN) system,
thanks to a $1.5 million donation from the Department of National
Defence. The new system, only the second in Canada, will be used to
provide advanced rehabilitation services to injured Canadian Forces
personnel and other patients.
“The system challenges patients to hone their balance and movement. The
platform can respond to a patient’s body position while they walk
through scenes they view on the screen surrounding them,” says Jim Raso,
manager of research and technology development at the Glenrose.
“Doctors and therapists can adjust patient programs based on assessments
made through CAREN, which is used by top military hospitals in the world
for its advanced approach to rehabilitation.”
Edmonton’s CAREN system complements a similar one being developed at the
Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre with Canadian military personnel.
“The technology will engage our patients at a whole new level and boost
their progress through the rehabilitation journey,” says Isabel
Henderson, vice-president of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.
In both Edmonton and Ottawa, CAREN will also be used by a variety of
adults and children: amputees; stroke patients who have lost motor
skills; cerebral palsy patients with gait abnormalities; and patients
with spinal cord injuries. It can also be used for post-traumatic stress
disorder therapy and with seniors with impaired cognition and memory.
“These innovations will go beyond the walls of this hospital and enable
us to reach out into parts of the community and the province,” Raso
“Today’s announcement is yet another example of how we are taking the
steps necessary to care for our people,” Maj-Gen Walter Semianiw, the
Canadian Forces Chief of Military Personnel, said at the funding
announcement. “It also demonstrates the value of strengthening
partnerships between military and civilian medical communities.”
Another $250,000 – an Innovation Agency project grant under Alberta
Advanced Education and Technology – will support businesses developing
rehabilitation products and systems using CAREN.
The Courage Centre initiative is a Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
The Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital is the largest, free-standing
rehabilitation hospital in Canada and among the most comprehensive in
North America. It serves people of all ages with various physical,
cognitive and mental health impairments.
Posted April 22, 2010