MossRehab gets a helping 'hand' to assist recovering COVID-19 patients

MossRehab robotic arm
Photo credit MossRehab
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Rehabilitation patients recovering from the coronavirus at MossRehab now have another treatment to help them recoup.

A robotic arm is often used during treatment at the Elkins Park facility. Now, recovering COVID-19 patients, who are living in a dedicated, isolated unit, are getting that assistance too.

“If the patient is very weak, the robotic arm can help them with use of their arm,” explained Dr. Thomas Watanabe, clinical director of the Drucker Brain Injury Center. “As they are getting stronger, the device can be geared down so the patient does more and the robot does less.”

The InMotion device can also track progress and help with fine motor skills. 

“The robot also has the opportunity to track progress. As you are using it, data is being collected and that can be looked at to see how the patient is progressing,” he added.

The robot was donated by the manufacturer, BIONIK Laboratories Corp, to be used for patients recovering from COVID-19. 

“It’s just another opportunity for the patient to work on their rehabilitation,” Watanabe said. “We use these devices elsewhere because they can help in recovery and stay engaged in the activities. So having these opportunities on this unit is really great.”

MossRehab’s isolated coronavirus facility can handle 12 patients. Currently, only one is using the robotic arm.