New solutions for back pain, one of the top three reasons for GP visits in the developed world

March 24, 2015

The Swiss medtech company Hocoma will be using conference and trade show RehabTech Asia 2015 to launch their Valedo Therapy Concept range in Asia. The Valedo system is a departure for Hocoma who are best known for rehabilitation devices for lower and upper limb disabilities caused by brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, and other neurological conditions. Rather than neurological motor rehabilitation, the Valedo range, consisting of the ValedoShape, ValedoMotion and Valedo, are complementary products for a healthy back.

Hocoma are potentially tapping into a huge market as back pain is ranked as one of the top three reasons for GP visits in the developed world with as many as 80 percent of us suffering from it at some stage in our lives. Its prevalence among workers in modern cities has led to an explosion in the numbers of chiropractors and osteopaths.

The Valedo range offers a high-tech alternative based on clinical spinal assessments and computer- monitored functional exercise training, which is made more fun for the patient by being incorporated into a virtual world computer game.

Managing Director of Hocoma South East Asia and Singapore, Zen Koh says, “The Valedo Therapy Concept is effective because it is simple and fun to use. We will be launching it at RehabTech Asia and making it available to clinics in the region after that.”

ValedoShape is a non-invasive device that provides precise, reliable spinal analysis with a high degree of data validity when compared to X-ray images. The resulting 3D graphics of the sagittal and frontal plane are easy to understand and can be used to support communication with the patient.

Using wireless sensors attached to skin to record movements of the trunk and pelvis and transferring them to a monitoring device, the ValedoMotion provides quantitative assessments of movement and dysfunction allowing the therapist to tailor therapy. Precise and repeatable measurements enable an objective analysis and documentation of the patient’s therapy progress.

Accurate real-time visual feedback helps the therapist train correct movements and thus improve patient’s awareness of his movements. Immersion in a game-like environment motivates patients to practice goal-oriented movements to control robot characters in different settings such as flying cross-country or navigating an underwater world. While playing an avatar, one corner of the screen shows the patient’s spinal alignment and indicates if their posture is wrong, the movement is incorrect or the exercise is performed at the wrong speed. Once the patient has received one-to-one training from the therapist he can be left to continue, self-guided, allowing the therapist to supervise multiple patients at once.

The ValedoMotion was developed in collaboration with the team led by Prof. Dr. Jan Kool at Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Winterthur, Switzerland and is suitable for a wide range of patients including non-specific back pain, general muscular deficits of the trunk, malalignment of the spine such as in kyphosis, scoliosism or neurological conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.

The Valedo, a home version of the ValedoMotion, tackles the most common reasons for the failure of, or non-compliance with, therapy programmes outside the clinic: patient’s poor awareness of their own movements, incorrect execution of exercises and lack of motivation.

The Valedo reminds patients to exercise, allows them to play the same exercise-based computer games on their iPads or iPhones, monitors and corrects their movements and reports the results back to the therapist.


Category: Features, Rehabilitative care

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