A Symbiotic Relationship - AT Developer, Therapist and Client

A couple of weeks ago we received a wonderful video and story about a movement goal breakthrough for one of our very special Lusio Family members, Felix. I’d like to talk here both about that Movement Goal breakthrough, and also how significant a reminder it was for us at Lusio Rehab about the importance of the symbiotic relationship between assistive tech developer, therapist and client. 

The Breakthrough

After a session with his physio, working on a Right Finger Extension Flexion, playing Lusio Rolling Ball 3D, Felix told his physio about the breakthrough achieved in what would be for most a simple everyday task - easily taken for granted - the picking up of a cup of coffee.

 

"It was the first time I have tried to pick up a coffee cup with my right hand in years...and it worked! Normally I don't want to look at my right hand but recently I am feeling better about it and am enjoying watching my fingers move"

It is EXACTLY these everyday Movement Goals that LusioMATE is designed to help motivate to achieve, and we are delighted for Felix. He has been such a great addition to our extended team over the last few months, providing us with brilliant feedback and enthusiasm and energy for what we are doing. For us then to receive this news of his own very personal breakthrough was EXTRA SPECIAL.

The Symbiotic Relationship Explained

So to this idea of the symbiotic relationship between tech developer, therapist and client. It is important to note here that the very origins of Lusio Rehab, and LusioMATE, come from the need to provide a solution for a therapist who was unable to ensure his client’s adherence to his at home therapy; a young boy named Arshia with CP. The therapist, exasperated, and somewhat desperate, turned to his friend, a robotics engineer, and someone who he knew to relish a problem that needed solving. ‘Is there anything that you could do that might help young Arshia to be motivated to do his physical therapy’ he asked. The robotics engineer (the now Head of Tech for Lusio Rehab) set himself to task . The conjuring up of a crude remote controlled car, operated by the movement Arshia needed to do for his physical therapy, not only resulted in a delighted therapist then and there, but also proved to be the genesis of Lusio Rehab today. Furthermore it set the foundation for the fundamental dynamic between AT developer, therapist and client that lies at the very core of Lusio Rehab’s existence.

If you’d like to fill in some of the gap between then and now, and see further examples of how all three have worked together throughout the evolution of LusioMATE, then please read The Incredible Lusio Story So Far. For now I’d like to focus on what this symbiotic relationship really means to us, and how Felix’s breakthrough was such a powerful reminder, and manifestation of it.

Client and AT Developer

For us at Lusio Rehab everything we do is driven towards helping the client with the motivation needed to help them achieve their Movement Goals. At every turn we listen to them, and their feedback, and we are continually building that into the development of our tech. When they achieve a Movement Goal, such as Felix did here, the boost to morale it provides us is immeasurable, and each Movement Goal achieved serves to invigorate our resolve to take our tech to as many people as possible.

Therapist and AT Developer

So what about the therapist? Well of course the therapist relationship with the client is well known and understood. But perhaps the relationship between therapist and AT developer is less so. The therapist provides extraordinary clinical insight and feedback to the AT developer. When providing us with the testimonial feedback, Felix’s physio gave us a wonderful insight into her thoughts behind his breakthrough.

‘This progress is wonderful for Felix; it is also food for thought for clinicians and developers. Trying to untangle the various contributing factors to successful performance is complex and will vary from individual to individual. I wonder if there is something particularly potent about this form of extrinsic feedback. Perhaps immersion in a positive on-screen experience has the power to affect the relationship an individual has with a challenging body part or movement. Maybe with the progression and scope of applications LusioMATE offers, this potential change in perception can be harnessed and developed. Here’s hoping that time, experimentation and lots of fun will help answer some of these questions and open up more. Bring it on!!’

This is incredibly powerful feedback for us to take on board and as ever we will look to incorporate it into the continual development and evolution of LusioMATE, as we do with all feedback that we receive from our clinician community partners.

Let's Not Forget The Hero

But let's not get beyond ourselves. The main 'hero' moment of this story is the breakthrough for the client. We are always delighted when we get to hear of such stories and we will never ever tire of hearing them. They are the lifeblood of an AT developer's existence. The wonderful sub plot however comes from the perception and analysis of the client’s background with therapy, from the highly skilled therapist. 

It sure provides some food for thought for the physio, in her practice and clinical work, and some tremendous new lines of thinking for us at Lusio Rehab, the AT developer, as we constantly look to evolve our tech into the best possible version of itself to help clients achieve their varied Movement Goals.

It is worth noting in summary that whilst the thoughts and ideas in this article were being processed, news of a further breakthrough for Felix came through. By all accounts he was talking to his physio with ‘happiness and surprise regarding his arm and hand function’ and he has now ‘added bagel cutting to his list of accomplishments’!! Wonderful stuff, and further motivation for the AT developer to continue processing and brainstorming on the original feedback provided by the therapist, to further benefit the client. And so the symbiotic relationship continues on.