State first: Stroke and other ABI patients to benefit from high-tech device designed for elite athletes

In a Victorian first, high-tech equipment designed for elite athletes is being used to aid recovery and rehabilitation in people with conditions like stroke and other acquired brain injuries, at Bupa Therapy in West Melbourne.

The Dynavision technology has been used for years within elite sporting leagues like basketball, cricket and American football, to help improve athletes’ hand eye co-ordination, endurance training and balance training.

As a result of its success in the sporting world, it was modified and the D2 was developed for use by the medical community.

For the first time, the technology has become available in Victoria at the new Bupa Therapy centre which has recently opened in West Melbourne, and it’s already generating results.

65-year-old David Richardson experienced a stroke in November. The father of two was one of the first people booked in at the new Bupa Therapy centre and one of the first to benefit from the Dynavision D2 technology.

While he was initially booked in for a speech pathology appointment with Kirsten Toll, Kirsten recognised that he would benefit from occupational therapy too, and invited OT Jacelyn Goh to attend his appointment.

The multidisciplinary team at Bupa Therapy worked together to create the most effective recovery program, which included sessions with the Dynavision D2.

“The Dynavision has been really useful as a part of David’s therapy program to help improve his inattention and reaction time speed. It’s objective and the immediate feedback provided a great way to track his progress, and allowed us to track his ability to return to driving,” says Jacelyn.

“Combining the use of the Dynavision and cognitive rehabilitation approaches, we were able to work on improving David’s attentional deficits and help him successfully transition back into working part-time.”

David says being able to track his improvement made a big difference.

“I’m a numbers person so it was extremely motivating to watch the numbers get better and better every time I used it. Sometimes it’s hard to know how much progress you’re making but with this, there was no question.”

David runs two carpentry businesses, and when he arrived at the centre for his first appointment, his goals were to return to work and to drive again.

He’s since returned to work 8 hours a week and is preparing to get back behind the wheel.

“In my situation, timing was everything so I’m so grateful I could get an appointment straight away and start seeing such positive results so quickly. I feel really lucky.

David’s wife Gemma says trying to find the right care for him was stressful and exhausting.

“Trying to access care and rehabilitation, it was just a nightmare. And then we came across Bupa,” she says.

“We’re not Bupa Members, but as soon as we walked in the door, we knew this was the place for us. When we arrived, it was this welcoming wrap-around service. And we thought, thank you. We’ve got great support, professional service, state of the art equipment, and everyone has been so caring to him. It was just such a lovely and welcoming place to come every time. Nothing’s been too much trouble and they’ve even been caring for me.”

The Dynavision technology can be used to improve hand eye coordination, reaction time, processing time, motor skills, peripheral awareness, visual scanning and attention, generalised weakness and balance for people with acquired brain injuries.

It can also be beneficial for those with developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy, or visual field deficits.

More about Bupa Therapy

Bupa Therapy is a new centre in West Melbourne open to all adult customers with neurophysiological conditions requiring long term rehabilitation. It provides physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology under one roof to make care easier and more coordinated. It’s open to everyone, not just Bupa Health Insurance members.

More about the Dynavision D2

The Dynavision D2 consists of an interactive light system which works with different programs and can all be customised to suit the therapy needs of the individual. It provides real time measuring, recording and analysis of the data it collects, giving immediate feedback to its users.

While it has been used in South Australia and overseas, this is the first time it has become available for use in Victoria.

To book a tour of the centre or find out more, get in touch with the team via the Bupa Therapy website

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