One step at a time – With ema, the smart treadmill for gait rehabilitation
One step at a time – with ema, the smart treadmill for gait rehabilitation
We asked Jens Kleine, Head of Sales, Made for Movement GmbH
The overall goal of rehabilitation is to – literally – get patients (back) on their feet and provide professionally guided training to regain mobility and strength. However, some people find walking on a treadmill boring after a while.
To make rehab more exciting and effective for both patients and therapists, the French company ezyGain developed the ema treadmill. Jens Kleine sells the ema system at Made for Movement and knows everything about the product. REHACARE.com asked what makes the gait rehabilitation treadmill so unique and what additional benefits the device offers for all parties involved.
The treadmill is also accessible by wheelchair and therefore makes access particularly easy.
What is the purpose of ema and where is it used?
Jens Kleine: Our ema treadmill was mainly designed for neurological recovery and is ideal for smaller offices and therapy centers with limited available space. The portable ema version can also facilitate early rehabilitation in hospital wards. The system is able to facilitate neurological, orthopedic, geriatric, pediatric and trauma rehabilitation.
What makes ema different from other rehabilitation treadmills?
Kleine: Unlike other treadmills, ema provides stability and safety for patients. Virtual walking landscapes increase the patient's motivation during gait training. The embedded sensors on the treadmill platform turn the device into a trainer that strengthens the patient's sense of balance – with the help of multiple playful games. The integrated anti-fall safety feature protects rehabilitation patients from falling by holding them securely in place thanks to a harness.
The ezyGain app offers real-time gait analysis and feedback as well as follow-up analysis to optimize training progress. The software thus provides both cognitive and visual stimulation – offering patients two benefits at the same time.
Hospitals or physical therapy offices benefit from ema's small footprint as it only takes up two square meters of space. What's more, ema is portable and compact, allowing a wide variety of applications.
The real-time analysis of ema makes it particularly easy for therapists and patients to track improvements in rehabilitation.
Kleine: The sensor technology of ema is embedded under the entire running surface of the treadmill. Patients can access multiple walking data including real-time progression of their walking ability – meaning patients can track their gait patterns in real-time and make their own corrective adjustments. Aside from a gait analysis, the program also stores the patient's progress and evolution. This enables a personalized and objective progress analysis.
Patients can embark on many different exercise options. Users have access to over ten challenging games to increase proprioception and balance. The exercises encourage users to move their weight in all directions in a playful setting. The virtual walking landscapes likewise increase the patient's motivation: they can choose from over 15 different walking paths, giving gait training yet again a playful and stimulating appeal.
How does ema benefit physical therapists and illustrates innovation in gait rehabilitation?
Kleine: The anti-fall safety features eases the burden of therapists. Yet since the treadmill is easily accessible, they can still manually intervene and support the patient during gait training.
The analytics allow therapists to track progress faster and make better adjustments. The analysis is improved as certain exercises are always performed in the same way. This makes self-management and monitoring much easier as well.
Since patients can use ema to hone both walking and balance, they do not have to switch devices, which can be cumbersome. The ema system allows therapists to offer modern, smart treatment options even in small spaces.
The system also makes the transfer from the wheelchair to an upright standing position that much easier: the low access ramp makes it simple to get onto the walking surface. The anti-fall protection harness simultaneously serves as a lift and streamlines the use of the ema system for therapists and patients.