The Research Department of the Centre for Paraplegia at Balgrist University Hospital is developing new assessments and deficit-specific gait rehabilitation procedures for patients with a spinal cord lesion

The focus of the research department is on the Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of motor, sensory and autonomic functions after spinal cord injury. Two measurement systems are available at the Balgrist Campus for recording motor function. In this way, walking on the ground can be studied in a gang laboratory. The gait of severely affected patients can also be analysed thanks to an innovative weight-relieving robot (FLOAT) using 3D Vicon motion cameras, corresponding force plates and EMG sensors.

Another gait analysis and gait training system is the GRAIL (Gait Realtime Analysis Interactive Lab) is available. State-of-the-art technologies enable analysis and training in a virtual environment under difficult conditions. Patients can be specifically challenged and supported both cognitively and mechanically.

prophysics has installed the gait laboratory as well as the GRAIL and supports the research department of the Centre for Paraplegia with any technical questions.

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GRAIL (Gait Realtime Analysis Interactive Lab) takes classical gait analysis out of the laboratory and moves it to the virtual world. By combining a treadmill with a Virtual Reality screen, the patient can be immersed in different environments where real time biofeedback can be combined with specific tasks to enable training and analysis to take place simultaneously.

Vantage is Vicon’s flagship range of cameras. The sensors have resolutions of 5, 8 and 16 megapixels, with sample rates up to 2000Hz – this allows you to capture fast movements with very high accuracy. The cameras also have built-in temperature and bump sensors, as well as a clear display, to warn you if cameras have moved physically or due to thermal expansion. High-powered LEDs and sunlight filters mean that the Vantage is also the best choice for outdoor use and large volumes.

The Cometa Pico (EMG) sensors are small, light-weight and have on-board storage to allow measurements in the field. Easy to attach and easy to charge, the long battery life, the high signal-to-noise ratio and the wireless range are other features that make the aktos the best EMG system on the market today.

3D body weight relief and guidance system

In the gait laboratory, a new type of weight relief system for patients was developed. The world’s first and only dynamic 3-D body weight support and guidance system for gait therapy (FLOAT V2.0) is now available as a CE-certified product. Thanks to the suspension of The FLOAT from the ceiling, patients who train with FLOAT are neither restricted in their spatial movement within a defined therapy area nor impaired by a device that travels with them.

This freedom of movement enables patients, everyday situations such as climbing stairs, standing up and sitting down, stepping sideways or turning on one point. Patients feel safe thanks to the fall detection mechanism and dare to go to their physical limit during therapy. This leads to the best possible therapeutic effect and the patients regain self-confidence.

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