Can you tell who is having more fun in this picture? Neither can we! Pictured here is former patient, Richard, enjoying a stroll down the hallway with Magee’s facility dog, Joey using our state-of-the-art Vector Gait and Safety System. Utilizing this body-weight-supported gait training system, Richard was able to confidently lead Joey for a walk and play fetch with her without fear of falling and without hands-on assistance from his therapist.
What is the Vector Gait and Safety System, you ask? The Vector Gait & Safety System allows orthopedic, neurologic and amputee patients to participate in gait and balance training while ensuring their safety and the safety of their health care provider. Unlike other track systems, the Vector uses a robotic trolley on a conductive rail that senses the patients’ movement and follows along and there is no pulling required. A software interface allows health care providers to set parameters such as body weight support and fall detection limits to meet individual patient needs. Throughout the training process, the Vector System tracks patient data, allowing for analysis, session comparison and electronic medical record documentation. Magee Rehabilitation Hospital is fortunate to be the only center in the Northeast region to have the Vector Gait and Safety System available for our patients’ benefit.
Add in our highly trained (and very adorable!) facility dog, Joey, to a session on the Vector and you have a recipe for success! Through the support of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, Magee’s Facility Dog program enables patients to work with Joey to improve functional outcomes, stimulate healing and recovery, and provide comfort and unconditional love. Working alongside her handler, occupational therapist Christina Rineheimer, Joey helps patients meet specific and planned treatment goals. In Richard’s case, walking Joey on a leash down the hall while assisted by the Vector Gait and Safety System allowed Richard to have some practice walking while simultaneously completing another task. From the smile on his face, we’d say it was a success!