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China upgrades rehab facilities

Createtime:2014-11-24 18:20:39     Release source:Global Times     Hits:1165

Li Jian'an (Left), Chen Jufu (Center) and Michile Westermann (Far right), CEO of Motek Medical, are at the CAREN system launching ceremony. Photo: Courtesy of Sichuan Bayi Rehabilitation Center

China's medical rehabilitation industry received an upgrade on October 31, with the launch of Asia's first CAREN (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment) system at the Sichuan Bayi Rehabilitation Center.

The CAREN system targets the rehabilitation of patients who suffer from difficulties in physical movement. The system uses a virtual reality simulator to provide therapists and research fellows ways to speed up the rehabilitation of patients with cerebral palsy, hemiplegia, Parkinson's disease, and those learning to use prosthetic limbs.

This new system has been brought to Asia by the combined efforts of Sichuan Bayi Rehabilitation Center and Diliver Inspiration Intelligence Healthcare (DIH). Shao Ming, director of Sichuan Bayi Rehabilitation Center, told Metropolitan the CAREN system will be put into clinical practice in next month.

This latest addition to China's medical facilities is the innovation of Motek Medical, a medical company in the Netherlands which developed the system over years of research and testing. With a software system that registers, evaluates and then trains the functional movements of human behavior, the CAREN system allows patients enter a virtual reality through a projection screen and D-flow software. 

"As a high-rank rehabilitation equipment, the CAREN system is mainly used in top level hospitals and rehabilitation centers overseas," said Chen Jufu, CEO of DIH, referring to Brooke Army Medical Center in the US and other rehabilitation centers and institutions in Europe. 

"There are numerous patients in China suffering [from physical limitations], so we want to benefit them with the most advanced technology, and in return the patients' data can contribute to further improvement of the system and the rehabilitation industry," added Chen.

Li Jian'an, the chairman of International Society for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM), spoke of the potential of the CAREN system, and how he hopes it will be available to all public hospitals. 

"We are only at the early stage of developing the system, and our main task is to do more research with the help of CAREN," said Li. "All previous cutting-edge technology, such as televisions and telephones, were once expensive, but I believe it will be common and affordable in the future," he said.

Shao and Li both shared their desire to make the CAREN system available to all rehabilitation centers, hospitals and scientific institutions in China. "For poor patients who are in need of the CAREN system, we have charity foundations to cover the costs," added Shao.

The CAREN system is also contributing to university scientific research in the Southwest of China. Deng Shixiong, headmaster of Chongqing Medical University said that the biggest hope of his university on CAREN is to cultivate more rehabilitation talents and push the development of similar system and equipment in China. 

"I hope one day we can independently invent personalized, small-sized equipment suitable for daily family use," said Deng.

Source:Global Times