Healthcare as we know it continues to advance to new heights and revelations daily, as a complex care provider we have acknowledged our duty to progress alongside medical professionals by providing those in our care with the most innovative and progressive forms of technology possible. Thus, Active Care Group is proud to announce that we are the first provider in the UK to pilot RehaCom, a computerised software programme focusing on cognitive rehabilitation with tremendous results.
Dr Jyoti Kainth-Evans, Principal Clinical Psychologist based at Active Care Group’s residential service Hunters Moor sourced RehaCom independently whilst searching for alternative methods to pen-and-paper tasks. Using both visual and auditory cues, RehaCom works for all age groups and even have modules specifically designed for children and can be used at any stage in an individual’s recovery journey. It can be applied to those with traumatic brain injuries, stroke, MS, depression, visual deficits and much more. RehaCom allows therapists to rehabilitate cognitive deficits that affect aspects of attention, concentration, memory, perception, activities of daily living and so forth. By solving problems, brain processes are activated, and functioning improved. Consistent and successful training will lead to improvements in the person’s ability to cope with the challenges of everyday life. Individuals carry out a screening assessment to identify areas of cognitive strength and weakness. For areas of weakness, the software can tailor a training package to the individual including difficulty level, time of each module, how often to use the software, and it also allows for a training calendar to be created if there are multiple areas of need.
So far, two residents of Hunters Moor have made history by being the first UK users to complete RehaCom. One of our residents, aged 39, received a diagnosis of a hypoxic brain injury. Traditional neuropsychological measures showed that he had global cognitive impairments, with led to severe attentional difficulties. He told Jyoti that he struggled with traditional pen and paper tasks as this brought up bad memories from school, which was ‘a time that he hated’. However, with RehaCom being a computerised, interactive program he found this method of rehabilitation much more entertaining, and ultimately life changing. With personal goals to concentrate for longer periods of time and look after his children independently, he started on the Attention and Concentration module. This module is based on the principle of pattern comparison and requires the user to find one picture in a matrix that matches exactly the comparison. Over the course of 10 sessions, the service user’s left eye visual field deficit went from -5 to a post-therapy score of 0.57. Pre-therapy, the user did not have a deficit on the right side. However now after using RehaCom, his left eye score has now overtaken his right! The user was able to choose the modules that would directly work towards his goals, whilst also choosing the modules that incorporated trains and cars for added enjoyment.
Jyoti states, “By buying RehaCom, it shows that we are investing in therapies and all residents who come through the building, and the way to do that is by investing in new technology.” This quote embodies Active Care Group’s desire to enhance our unique approach to care because of and despite COVID-19. The notion of apps and computerised programmes assisting with cognitive rehabilitation can be far more appealing to the younger populations with a brain injury. As we move with the times, RehaCom will be for cognitive rehabilitation what virtual reality is now for physiotherapy. The software boasts inclusivity and comes in twenty different languages, not only does this cut costs of interpreters, but gives staff a better insight to non-English speaking patients strengths and weaknesses. One of our Portuguese service users at Hunters Moor is now able to use RehaCom independently and has made remarkable improvements mentally and physically since accessing the free trial. Furthermore, a special keyboard feature gives those with movement disorders an equal opportunity that may have been initially tricky when living with constant tremors.
Whilst new technology is favourable upon the younger generation, it is also important to present these new ideas and innovations to the older generation. A 63-year-old client, diagnosed with a variant of Guillian-Barre Syndrome, has also undertaken the RehaCom trial with incredible results. Pre-becoming unwell, her cognitive functioning was estimated to be within the high average range. At the time of therapy, she was not experiencing depression, anxiety or any other psychological distress which may have impacted on her cognitive functioning. Therefore, it can be inferred that her cognitive difficulties at present reflect her brain injury rather than a consequence or impact of additional psychological factors. After completing 9 screening tests, her results recommended the Attention and Concentration therapy module, as well as the Saccadic Training module. During sessions, the client reported ‘I’m really enjoying using the software, it’s very different to pen and paper tasks.’ and has been observed to actively engage with the program despite her more senior age group. Once she has completed the current therapy modules, she will recomplete the screening tests to assess any improvements on the associated tests and begin working on any other identified areas of difficulty. Thus, RehaCom is fast becoming the popular option within our Hunters Moor residents and its simplistic, yet advanced software is inclusive for all ages and complex conditions.
To conclude, Active Care Group’s experience with RehaCom has been a glimpse into the future of healthcare. The German manufactured programme has proven to be inclusive to cognitive deficits, age groups, ethnicities, disorders, and even remote working. With RehaCom, therapists can supervise users through their own homes just as easily as it allows face to face working. Active Care Group will continue to proclaim RehaCom through statistical data, publication, and campaigns. Ultimately, we want to implement the use of the ground-breaking software into all residential homes and improve the quality of life for service users and staff throughout the UK.