The Bimeo Pro is a rehabilitation device which uses interactive virtual reality (VR) technology to motivate patients to use their arms and upper limb joints during physiotherapy sessions. The Bimeo Pro is adaptable: it can be used it uni- or bi-manually, in free space or on a support surface. This means that individual problem areas (specific joints of the upper limb) can be targeted during physiotherapy.
Bimeo: The Birkdale Guideline
Who can use the Bimeo Pro
The Bimeo Pro works well on people who:
- Have impaired hand and eye coordination
- Experience sensory deficits in their hands or upper limbs
- Struggle to control their upper limbs
At the Birkdale Neuro Rehabilitation Centre we have used the Bimeo Pro with children and adults with a wide range of neurological conditions. Examples include:
- Cerebellar disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
How Do Virtual Reality Devices Like the Bimeo Pro Help Neuro Rehabilitation?
Your brain ‘decides’ how and when the body moves and actively sends electrical signals down nerves (neurons) to signal your muscles to move. This means that for proper neurological rehabilitation to take place (to regain control of movements), patients must be engaged and actively trying to move during physiotherapy. The Bimeo Pro encourages users to take control of their own movements in a fun and interactive way, which is beneficial for their neurological rehabilitation.
Motivation and Improved Attention Span Allows for More Repetitions
At the Birkdale Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre, having fun during physiotherapy is critical. It is well evidenced that improved motivation leads to better physiotherapy outcomes. The Bimeo Pro makes physiotherapy fun! The tasks have clear and engaging goals so that patients are able to concentrate for longer and are more motivated to do what would normally be tiring repetitive movement practice.
Eye Directed Hand Movements
You may not have noticed this but your eyes are actually very involved when you move your upper limb (arm and hand). You use your vision to see your environment and to locate and track objects which you want to reach for / grasp / manipulate with your hands. Eye directed hand movements utilize the neuronal network that connects the parietal cortex and cerebellum (a network that can be weakened by neurological damage as experienced after stroke). The Bimeo Pro’s virtual reality tasks require eye directed hand movements, and so this feedback loop becomes strengthened. For this reason Bimeo can improve the user’s control of the direction of a movement. This is particularly useful in engaging hand and eye co-ordination. Eye directed movement’s helps planning and organisation of the movements.
If you are interested in finding out more about the cerebellum’s role in visual processing, please see Professor Nicholas Holmes’ lecture slides from his talk at the Birkdale Neuro Rehabilitation Centre’s 2017 conference: ‘Cerebellum Beyond Movement.’
Improved Sensory Feedback
Bimeo stimulates the users’ sensory processing systems, i.e. the sensations felt whilst holding an object (weight, pressure, etc.). Sensory stimulation enhances a person’s ability to move (e.g. understanding weight and pressure mean a person can hold an object with the correct grip).
Different Therapy Modes
Bimeo offers a wide variety of therapy modes, this gives us the opportunity to adjust therapy sessions to individuals’ different goals or rehabilitation stages. With the Bimeo Pro we can find the right balance between challenge and confidence to execute a movement, giving the patient a challenging and rewarding therapy.
For all of the above reasons we love using the Bimeo Pro at the Birkdale Neuro Rehabilitation Centre. The Bimeo Pro motivates the patient to do an activity by themselves and allows repetition of movements. The Bimeo Pro improves visual spatial awareness. Once you have practiced with Bimeo, the possibility of moving your arm can become a reality.
If you have any questions about Bimeo or are interested in testing it or incorporating Bimeo in to your own physiotherapy plans please Contact Us