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The Paralyzed Walk: Huntington Hospital Installs Breakthrough Technology

first_imgHealth The Paralyzed Walk: Huntington Hospital Installs Breakthrough Technology From STAFF REPORTS Published on Monday, October 8, 2012 | 1:24 pm EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Top of the News 6 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it HerbeautyFollow This Summer Most Popular Celeb Beauty TrendHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyTop 9 Predicted Haircut Trends Of 2020HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty8 Easy Exotic Meals Anyone Can MakeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? 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Required fields are marked * Huntington Memorial Hospital announced today that it has become the first hospital in Southern California – and only the third in the 11 western states — to offer a powerful new technology that enables people with lower-extremity paralysis or weakness to stand and walk.“What we are witnessing is truly the best of what science, engineering and medicine have to offer,” said Sunil Hegde, M.D, medical director of the hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Center. “Together we are helping people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable.”Patients are able to walk with the assistance of Eksoâ„¢, a ready-to-wear, battery-powered bionic suit – or exoskeleton – that is strapped over the user’s clothing. With the patient providing the balance and proper body positioning, Ekso allows patients to walk while a physical therapist uses the control pad to program the desired walking parameters, such as step length and speed, as well as control when the Ekso stands, sits, and takes a step. It is powered by two high-capacity lithium batteries which drive the hip and knee motors.“With the aid of the Ekso remote control, one of our physical therapists helps teach the patient when to take a step, how to position their body for proper balance, and how to shift their weight in preparation to take another step,” said Dr. Hedge. “The physical therapist also has the ability to modify the walking pattern — step speed and length — as the patient progresses.”Ekso can be adjusted to fit most people between 5’2” and 6’2” who weigh 220 pounds or less. The user needs arm function and adequate upper extremity strength to manage crutches or a walker. An experienced user can transfer to/from their wheelchair and put on or off the Ekso in less than five minutes. The torso and leg straps are designed to enable the user/patient to easily get in and out of the device with none or minimal assistance. The learning curve is user specific and usually individuals begin using a walker and progress to crutches.The addition of the Ekso technology to Huntington Hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Center was made possible through the generosity of a challenge gift from donors Carol & Harry Tsao and Renata & Talmadge O’Neill. They made their donation in honor of their families’ philanthropic legacies. Tsao and Talmadge are co-founders of Mezi Media and are investors in Ekso Bionics.So as to encourage other people to support these much-needed services, Tsao and Talmadge have agreed to match dollar for dollar other community donations to the hospital’s Neuroscience Program. “We are deeply grateful to these wonderful families for their support of important and life-changing care within our walls,” said Dr. Hedge.“While this technology is currently used only in rehabilitation centers, we join with Ekso in looking forward to the day when people will be able to utilize this technology on the sidewalks or in shopping malls,” said Dr. Hedge. “Since the robotic suit is self-contained robotic and not tethered to a power supply, why not dream big?”Currently, 18 medical centers in the United States and two in Europe offer the Ekso exoskeleton devise. Its manufacturer, Ekso Bionics, is headquartered in Richmond, California with offices in London, UK. Further information may be obtained at www.eksobionics.comHuntington Memorial Hospital is a 625-bed not-for-profit hospital that is home to the only Level II Trauma Center in the San Gabriel Valley. In addition to being granted Magnet® status in 2011, Huntington Hospital has been ranked nationally by U.S. News and World Report in two specialties and was named the 8th best hospital in California. Renowned for its programs in neurosciences, cardiovascular services and cancer care, Huntington Hospital is an active teaching hospital with graduate medical education programs in internal medicine and general surgery. Consistent with its mission, the hospital provides millions of dollars annually in charity care, benefits for vulnerable populations, health research, education and training and support programs that may otherwise be absent from the community. For more information visit www.huntingtonhospital.com . Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. First Heatwave Expected Next Week faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Community News Business News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

Is satellite TV killing African football?

first_imgWhen satellite television started broadcasting the top leagues of Europe around the world in the mid-1990s, football lovers in Africa must have been unsure whether to laugh or cry.On the one hand, they could suddenly watch some of the best club football on the planet – simply by turning on the TV.At the same time, the realisation must have dawned that the local league they had been watching for years was a sub-standard product to the one found in countries like England, Spain and Italy.It wasn’t always thus though – for African club football’s heyday came in the 1970s and 1980s when vast crowds, sometimes 100,000 strong, regularly flocked to league games and the leading pan-African club competitions.By the 1990s, however, the state of Africa’s leagues had become a major worry.The exodus of players to Europe, which today is a flood, was beginning to become significant, meaning local fans were denied the chance to watch the best talents as they left for greener pastures, while many leagues were also blighted by poor organisation, corruption, chronic infrastructure, low crowds and sometimes a combination of all four. European football was most welcome when it arrived, as fans feasted upon the chance to watch legendary clubs like Real Madrid, AC Milan and Manchester United on a regular basis, but the impact on the diminishing local leagues – North Africa aside – has been less well received.Empty seats“The advent of satellite TV has certainly taken away the feel people had for the local league – more so when you have the likes of Lionel Messi at your fingertips,” Ghanaian football commentator Karl Tufuoh told BBC Sport. “It’s clear local attendance has been massively affected.”Tufuoh was speaking at the Accra Sports Stadium, whose 40,000 red, yellow and green seats were more or less all visible for a league clash between top clubs Liberty Professionals and Asante Kotoko on a recent Sunday.A few miles down the road, the bar at the Alisa Hotel was overflowing with fans who had come to watch two crunch English Premier League (EPL) clashes. “Maybe if we had no option, we would have to follow our local league,” said one customer, Kojo. “But if you find something better than the local league, you would watch the better one.”The situation in Ghana is far from unique – it is played out in countless African cities every weekend.In fact, the attendances became so insignificant in many African leagues that they have been scheduling domestic kick-offs to avoid the big European matches.However, there has been a recent reversal in the declining attendances as a previously-unseen factor has entered the market: Satellite television that now broadcasts some of Africa’s leagues.In 2006, South African broadcaster Supersport started to air matches from both its own league and Nigeria’s on the DSTV network, which is broadcast across the continent for those who can afford it. Seven years on, SuperSport also owns the rights to games in Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Ghana, Angola and Tanzania.Crowds up in KenyaWhile the beneficial impact on some leagues has been questionable, such as in Zambia and Nigeria, one of the stand-out successes has been in Kenya.Prior to SuperSport’s involvement, the domestic league was riddled by infighting, poor crowds, poor marketing and a chaotic fixture list.The situation is now wholly different, with improved organisation added to the TV money that enables clubs to pay their players both well and regularly, making the league not only more attractive to fans but foreign players too. “The first season we covered the KPL, you were getting a few hundred people for normal games and a few thousand for the big games,” says Gary Rathbone, former head of Africa for SuperSport.“Last year, crowds were in their thousands for normal games and 25,000 for the big games. Another massive change was that the league sponsorship had increased from zero to something quite substantial.”The success of SuperSport’s KPL coverage – which has included the creation of a studio, a weekly magazine programme and the coverage of over 100 live games – has been staggering.Prior to the input, Rathbone estimates that 75% of the Kenyan media’s football coverage was devoted to Europe but he believes that figure is now equal – with perhaps over half sometimes devoted to the KPL.A survey later revealed that the Advertising Value Equivalent of sponsorship for the KPL – which Rathbone now classifies as a “truly professional league” – amounts to a barely-credible $86m (£55m). “That’s what happens when you get behind the league and broadcast it and organise it properly,” he says.In his own South Africa, the TV audiences watching local games are double those of the EPL – even if the advertising revenue for the latter’s games is significantly higher, given the demographic being targeted.However, slick television production can only take a league so far if it has perceived flaws – as those running Nigerian football have discovered.Believing that the league is unattractive, amateurishly run and constantly haemorrhages its best players, Nigerian football fans – those backing Kano Pillars aside – have not come out in numbers to attend games.In Zambia meanwhile, a former FA president says the SuperSport deal means fans now watch local games on TV – not just because they can watch the European games afterwards, but also for more simple reasons. “In our stadiums, refreshments are not allowed – so why should I go to a stadium to be thirsty for 90 minutes when I can watch at a bar with a big screen?” asks Simataa Simataa.So when African leagues complain about the impact of the EPL on their attendances, is this simply an excuse for their general laziness and incompetence when it comes to improving their product?“To succeed, leagues have to become businesses but very few have grasped this yet,” says Rathbone. “They also need to explore other forms of revenue – like advertising and merchandise.”“If the local leagues are run properly and it’s an interesting standard, the experience is positive and the media is supportive, there is no reason why the EPL and the local league should not live successfully side by side.”last_img read more