RehaCom was developed in Germany and now more that 90% of clinics involved in brain injury rehabilitation use this software. Differences in clinical practice have definitely affected the adoption of RehaCom in different parts of the world. As our knowledge of neuroplasticity and recovery has improved and research support for computer-aided cognitive rehabilitation has strengthened there is no doubt that this has led to stronger adoption in the UK and around the world. We are not at he 90%+ adoption rate yet but it is interesting to ask what is different about Germany? What do they know?
In Germany there are firm guidelines in relation to the treatment of cognitive deficits and these pretty much dictate how patients are treated following a stroke, TBI or other condition affecting cognition. The guidelines are updated by the German Society of Neurology and give specific, mandatory guidance regarding treatment. This effectively dictates
- what kind of treatment patients are given
- How often the treatment is given
- That the treatment has to be precisely "deficit-specific"
As you might expect this is a perfect fit for RehaCom which provides the means for deficit specific, intensive and auto-adaptive training. This auto-adaptive behaviour is very important and RehaCom has unmatched depth and breadth of content that is automatically presented in a way that is neither too difficult nor too easy.
One of the frequently asked questions about computer-based training is "Does improved performance in the software transfer to improvements in everyday life?" I don't believe that this has been exhaustively studied but in Germany the consensus view is that the resulting quality of outcome and quality of life are convincing.
The therapist approaches RehaCom as a tool that allows greater effficiency and effectiveness because preparation for therapy becomes very quick and easy. Less effort is required to monitor process because
- the patient is monitored contnuously by the software
- the task difficulty is adapted automatically
- the course of the therapy is recorded automatically
- results are printable and exportable to other formats for record keeping
A review of the efficiency saving through the use of RehaCom showed a 28% total time saving without reducing the therapy time received by the patient.
Advanced RehaCom technology allows up to four patients to be treated effectively by one therapist without sacrificying quality of care.
I recently setup RehaCom in a hospital intending to use the software with ABI patients. In discussing the intended intensity of use I commented that the intensity did not seem so high. However, the constraint was actually due to the standard allocated therapy time in the hospital. It is a fact that resource constraints can strongly influence the outcomes we might expect from rehabilitation. However, we know that by using RehaCom the therapist will always be more efficient and effective.