If you cast your mind back to the Brazillian World Cup, what would be your abiding memory?
The now infamous (and vicious) Suarez bite, the best player of the tournament – Thomas Muller (perhaps?), the winning team (Germany- if you’ve forgotten)- or the off-the-pitch news stories of widespread brothels (or zonas), the cheap and seemingly widespread child prostitution, the spotlight on the world’s biggest crack market, the new (but un-shocking) FIFA corruption allegations, the carnival atmosphere, or other?
For me, it was actually none of the above.
Instead, it was the powerful image of a paraplegic walking in a brain controlled exoskeleton during the opening ceremony!
This huge advancement in technology also reminds me of the paralysed man who was able to walk again after pioneering therapy that involved transplanting cells from his nasal cavity into his spinal cord. His name is Darek Fidyka. You can remind yourself by watching his video here.
These developments offer massive REAL hope for paraplegic, locked in syndrome and other stroke survivors to actually walk again. If only Christopher Reeve had seen his visionary dream become a reality. I guess it would almost be like, Robocop meeting Superman!
To walk again and be able to give a fellow human eye to eye contact, to be treated as an equal, is a fundamental need. As are these hugely important (and dignity enhancing) daily living activities – communication, eating, washing, continence and toileting, dressing, grooming and having decisions made about you with you. Technology in #strokerecovery helps us to communicate, eat, drink, dress, wash, go to the toilet, shop, manage our medications, improve, improve our cognition, psychological issues and allows us to easily share and support other stroke survivors, amongst other things.
There are so many technological advances combining gaming (a great way to engage with younger children incidentally) and virtual reality technologies to be used as part of our individualised, self-management stroke recovery programme.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the word ‘technology’ can arouse thoughts of high-tech (and expensive) technological gizmos, but according to Wikipedia:
‘Technology is making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, to solve a problem, improve an existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, or perform a specific function.
Technology affects our ability to control and adapt to our natural environment.’
Therefore, our next Tweetchat blog will be about #strokerecovery and technology at 5pm GMT on 10the March 2015.
If you want to prepare your responses our proposed Tweetchat questions will be.
T1. What technology do you use/offer in #strokerecovery therapy?
T2. Is there some technology you would use but don’t? Is it just about cost? #strokerecovery
T3. What are the main barriers to treating #strokerecovery survivors with technology?
T4. Can we overcome those technological intervention barriers? Is it not just cost? #strokerecovery
T5. How do you find out about evidence-based #strokerecovery technology?
I Am Still The Same -Self help stroke recovery tool