Local rehab & wellness center reaps benefits of new program

Published 4:39 pm Friday, June 30, 2017

Consider it a new arrow in the quiver at Signature HealthCARE of Elizabethton.
As the facility works to get their residents back home safely, therapists have been able to work with a new program, VirtureSense, to help monitor balance issues with residents.
“This is a really unique tool,” said Cole Harmon, occupational therapist at Signature HealthCARE of Elizabethton, following a demonstration of the program. “We’re the only center in East Tennessee that is utilizing this. We’re able to use a tool no one else has that helps us determine specific problems with balance.”
VitureSense, which originates from Illinois, uses state-of-the-art technology and motion-capturing to work with residents in a variety of tests. While in beta-testing, Harmon added the program is a unique way to help patients have a longer stay at home.
“Whether it’s samata sensory, vestibular … we’re able to have a patient go through this program and we are able to pinpoint any problems they may have, which we can then concentrate on,” Harmon said. “With occupational therapy, we work a lot with self care and what we call ‘ADLs’, which are activities of daily living. Dressing, bathing, showering, and everything like that. But a big component with, to make sure residents can do that safely once they’re home, is the ability for them to maintain their balance while they do those activities.”
Debbie Street, CEO of Signature HealthCARE of Elizabethton, added the facility has been able to enjoy the progress made with the technology.
“Seeing our patients smile as they eagerly return to their everyday life is what we work toward,” she said. “We are embracing this state-of-the-art technology to replace what was previously done with a physical yardstick by our physical and occupational therapists.”
Leonard Arnold, who went through the program during Thursday’s demonstration, worked alongside therapists in a variety of activities offered by VirtueSense, ranging from monitoring motion by popping balloons on screen, keeping balance level while standing and walking in a straight line.
Data comprised by the program is backed on a HIPPA compliant and different secure apps so that therapists, athletic trainers or strength coaches can monitor progress of a patient. VirtureSense uses multiple sensors, a microphone and thermal camera to properly register a patient and designed algorithms allow proper reading of results following the completion of a test.
While the program is in beta-testing, Harmon added that the facility has the ability to contact the developers and pass along any recommendations or feedback so that the program can possibly be used by other centers in the future.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox