Home' SA 50s Lifestyle : SA 50s Spring 11 Contents 22 Spring 2011
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Hi-tech support for stroke assessment
A simulator which enables stroke
patients to shop in a virtual
supermarket is helping clinicians to
assess their logical decision-making
The simulator has been developed
by the Medical Device Partnering
Program (MDPP) at Flinders
University in collaboration with the
Department of Rehabilitation and
Aged Care at Repatriation General
Stroke patients use the simulator by
selecting groceries and adding them
to their trolley as they move through
the virtual supermarket.
Southern Adelaide Local Health
Network Regional Clinical Director
for Rehabilitation and Aged
Care, Associate Professor Craig
Whitehead, said the shopping
simulator was created to inform
clinicians about what people are
capable of, rather than just having a
view of their capabilities.
“The simulator is an effective way of
testing a stroke patient’s alertness,
ability to scan both sides of the
environment and logical processing,”
‘“For older people and people with
disability, technological interfaces
such as the shopping simulator
can be highly beneficial for clinical
MDPP Director Professor Karen
Reynolds said the focus on cognitive
assessment through the simulator
enables an occupational therapist
to determine a patient’s ability to
undertake the everyday task of
‘“Our simulation software recreates
the grocery shopping experience
with the aid of a simple touch-screen
computer and a trolley handle,”
Professor Reynolds said.
“The level of complexity can be
adjusted and certain groceries can
be specified, or a shopping budget
can be set to ascertain the cognitive
ability of each patient.”
The South Australian Government
has provided more than $1 million
in funding to the MDPP at Flinders
University to help develop important
research that assists South
Australians in their everyday lives.
The MDPP is funded by the South
Australian Government through the
Premier’s Science and Research
Fund and the Disability, Ageing and
It brings together researchers from
Flinders University, the University
of Adelaide, the University of South
Australia and NovitaTech.
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Heart disease, diabetes, cancer,
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that the primary cause is not our
genes, but environmental stressors
such as nutritional deficiencies, lack
of exercise, poor spinal alignment,
toxins and emotional stress.
In response to increasing modern
illnesses, health professionals
and the public are increasingly
embracing preventative measures.
One of the first mainstream
professions to embrace the
preventative approach was dentistry
When dentists first proposed keeping
your teeth strong and healthy
through preventative approaches
there were many sceptics. Yet today,
few people question the need and
value of looking after one’s teeth.
This same shift is happening with
the spine. One reason why the
chiropractic profession has not
reached the majority, with the same
speed as dentistry, is because the
teeth are always visible and when
they are rotten or misaligned, you
can’t miss it. Chiropractors often
joke that if your spine was on your
face, you’d take better care of it!
The spine is a suit of armour that
protects the spinal cord and nerve
roots. Misalignments of the spine,
as a result of traumas and our
modern lifestyle of chairs, cars and
chronic stress is a key cause of back
pain, sciatica, headaches and many
chronic diseases. What is also not
widely known is that correction of
spinal alignment is possible.
Similar to dentistry, the first step is
a spinal check up. As with crooked
teeth, misalignments of the spine
require correction. Once in proper
alignment, spinal ‘hygiene’ is
necessary for the spine and nervous
system to stay healthy.
This includes maintenance
chiropractic adjustments, good
posture and nutrition, regular
exercise and stretch breaks
throughout the day.
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