SCI CAN Donates $60,000
DES MOINES, IOWA: The SCI CAN Foundation gave their largest donation to Des Moines University (DMU) for the sum of $60,000.00! The funds will be used to finance a research project and purchase the ProtoKinetics walkway system that will assess fall risk for those with neurologic conditions.
This system can measure gait speed and variations in step length and narrow/wide base of support but it can also measure initiation/termination variabilities with stepping, static, and dynamic balance deficits as well as center of mass/pressure efficiencies important during pre walking and walking activities.
They have current pilot data looking at turning behavior and its association with fall risks. Other research plans also include motor imagery and balance enhancements with Tai-Chi for the stroke population specifically.
DMU is involved in community access/free programs which would allow them to take this device into the community and provide free assessments to assist individuals with guidance regarding fall risks. DMU plans to use the data from this system and also track patient reported measures as well as quality of life measures while associating these factors to gait metrics.
Fall risk is a substantial problem in the community. Not specifically for SCI directly, but greatly for other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Brain injury, etc. Currently, their isn’t a great measure that exists to determine fall risk specifically other than walking speed. DMU plans to expand this to the community as a free assessment, it will be excellent in terms of early diagnosis and prevention for certain individuals.
DMU has a great presence in the Des Moines region. In the medical field, we need researchers like DMU to be assessing gait/fall risk as well as effectiveness of exercise programs. This relationship is critical for future findings in the field. Health and wellness programs are not supported by insurance coverage which means most medical facilities are not actively offering these wonderful programs. Researches typically don’t have access to good wellness programs. As DMU has a good relationship with these other facilities, they have access to wellness programs that most clinics don’t offer. To change policies of what insurance WILL pay for, the research has to be done!
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