Parkview adds robotic therapy to help patients walk

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Parkview Hospital Randallia, in partnership with Reha Technology, welcomed the G-EO EvolutionTM to its rehabilitation services. Made possible through donations to the Parkview Foundation, G-EO is a robotic-assisted gait trainer used to maximize clinical outcomes for patients with neurological and orthopedic impairments resulting from a variety of conditions and injuries, including stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, amputations and traumatic conditions.

Doug Helsom, one of the lead physical therapists at Parkview, said the help the machine adds is invaluable. Not only does it cut down on the number of therapists needed to help someone walk, it actually increases steps. “It’s just something that you can’t replace as a therapist because it takes two or three of us to be able to mobilize them two or three steps. You put them into this device and they’re walking 500, 750 to 1,000 steps within the first couple sessions.”

It’s also looked at as one of the most diverse technologies in this area. From serving very weak patients to those who are stronger. “If a patient is very weak, they’re able to use it in a passive mode which means the machine does all the work for the patient. Once they get a little stronger then the machine is able to assist with some of their walking. And then once they get strong enough beyond that then the patient is able to do all the walking themselves,” Greg Parrett said.

Once they’re strapped in and going, there are different simulations of upstairs, downstairs or ground walking. It’s the first in Indiana for both inpatient and outpatient services and there are only 7 in the country. “With the benefits that we are seeing already with the patients that we’ve had on it the last two weeks, we’re excited to see what else we can be a part of,” Parrett said.