Jump Simulation has received a $25,000 grant from the PNC Foundation for a project to engage children with traumatic brain injuries as they go through clinical rehabilitation. The funding was part of a larger $47,500 grant that will support OSF HealthCare and Children’s Hospital of Illinois initiatives.
Led by a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign doctoral student, a Jump Sim engineer and two OSF physicians, the Pediatric Neurology Project team is creating a robotic rehabilitation system that provides physical feedback and incorporates gaming to help children relearn critical motor skills.
Children who sustain traumatic brain injuries can experience a number of significant physical, motor, cognitive and behavioral impairments that require clinical rehabilitation programs to aid in recovery. Maintaining patient motivation is a key challenge in any type of rehabilitation program.
“We believe using a robotic rehabilitation system along with a computer game will mask the monotonous nature of therapy, keeping young patients engaged and willing to continue recovery,” said Shrey Pareek, Ph.D. student in Systems Engineering at UIUC.
Using a robot for exercises will also allow physical therapists to record and evaluate patient performance and progress across different therapy sessions. The rehab system could also be modified to allow for home use.
The project is one of many taking place at Jump, demonstrating the value of engineers and clinicians working together to create new technologies that will help overcome disabilities, facilitate recovery from injury and illness and more fully address patient needs.
“PNC applauds the efforts by Jump Simulation, its partners and their multiple initiatives,” said Doug Stewart, PNC regional president for central Illinois. “Supporting this effort is one of the ways PNC reinforces its commitment to the health of our children and the quality of life of our communities.”
The PNC grant will help the Pediatric Neurology Project team trial the system and collect data around its use. Additional donations can be made through the OSF Foundation at osfhealthcarefoundation.org.
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.