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National trial to focus on stroke rehabilation technology

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Salisbury District Hospital have been chosen to lead a national trial on assistive technologies that help improve hand and arm rehabilitation following a stroke.

The National Institute for Health Research has awarded a grant of£2m for a five year programme which will be spread around a number of universities and hospitals.

Assistive technologies include the use of robots to move the arm and leg, electrical impulses to activate muscles, toxins to reduce tightness in paralysed muscles and a variety of splints and supports that aid function.

Funding is initially for a three year evaluation of existing services and technologies followed by a two year clinical trial which is dependant on an interim report.

Professor Ian Swain, head of service for medical physics and chief investigator for the trial, said: ‘This is a really exciting project that will, for the first time, look at the effectiveness of all assistive technologies together.

‘The fact that Salisbury has been chosen to lead the trial highlights the significant experience that we have in this field and the expertise, innovation and creativity of our staff,’ he added.

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