ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – In March of 2019, Pat Arnold had a stroke. Since then, Arnold has been in an assisted living facility in Pinellas County.
Arnold tells WFLA.com, when COVID-19 hit, she thought her road to recovery was stalled.
“We were locked down for a while where we could not leave the property,” said Arnold.
Coronavirus restrictions prevented Arnold from attending her physical therapy sessions, so she turned to another alternative: Technology.
Arnold is now using a robotic arm created by Atlanta based company, Motus Nova.
“You put your arm in it and it actually moves your arm and you go through little computer games,” said Arnold. “So, I spent an hour a day or so playing several different games.”
Motus Nova uses robotic hand and foot devices and pairs them with interactive games, that help increase the range of motion and strength in injury and stroke patients.
Motus Nova’s founder and CEO, David Wu, tells WFLA.com, his company is redefining at-home physical therapy, especially during a pandemic.
“Getting a rehab device shipped to them, essentially and then having a clinician through Telehealth, operate the device in real-time, allows a lot of our stroke survivors, all of our users to continue their recovery, despite all lockdowns that’s happening,” said Wu.
Wu says the demand for Motus Nova’s devices has grown in recent months.
“User that use our device, it’s been shown that they do just as well as if they had gone to their inpatient sessions,” said Wu. “There are 7 million stroke survivors in the US and about almost a million are in Florida. So it’s important that these stroke survivors get their rehabilitation after their injury.”
As for Arnold, while she still has a long road to recovery, she believes more than anything, the at-home robotic arm is restoring her quality of life and sense of self.
“The idea, to be able to go out, reach out and grasp a big glass off the wall, to be able to grab and hold on to stuff. This is what I’m after at this point and that’s where this (device)comes in,” said Arnold. “I think the concept is a great idea to be able to do this at home on a system by myself because my whole goal right now, is to do things by myself for myself. Every stroke is different and encouragement means a lot to help people get back to recovery, to get as much function as they can before they had the stroke.”