WALLINGFORD — Gaylord Speciality Healthcare has acquired new touchscreen technology that is changing the way patients rehabilitate comprehension skills.
The new touchscreen system – Bioness Integrated Therapy Systems, or BITS – replaces traditional therapy with digital programs that patients complete on a 55-inch touchscreen TV.
The system offers visual exercises that test and track skills like memory, reaction time, attention span and hearing. After a patient performs a test, they’re given a performance score to compare with past performance. The system benefits patients who have suffered brain injury, stroke or other ailments.
Jack Ready, an outpatient from Naugatuck who suffered a stroke in June 2016, said the new system provides instant feedback.
“It has helped a lot,” Ready said. “It is more stimulating than a piece of paper….You can pull the results up right after you take it.”
Gaylord acquired the system using two separate grants, both $28,000, from Meriden-based Cuno Foundation, an organization that supports health and wellness programs in the greater Meriden area, and the MSL Renewed Hope Foundation in Colorado.
“Part of the Cuno Foundation’s mission is to support community programs that enhance the health and wellness of the citizens of greater Meriden,” said Natalie Cheerman, who sits on the Cuno Foundation’s grant distribution committee.
The system also lets therapists customize programs for patients. If a patient is completing an activity that requires them to recall images shown on a screen, therapists can use photos of the patient’s family rather than stock images, for example
Heidi Fagan, Gaylord’s inpatient BITS coordinator, said the technology “changes the way Gaylord can assess, challenge and motivate our patients and continuously track their progress.”
"We can offer an even larger variety of cognitive, visual and motor challenges to refresh the wide assortment of treatment options that Gaylord already delivers," Fagan said.