Amsterdam / Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 11th June 2020

Heliomare enables gait training at an early stage with Motek’s next-generation 3D bodyweight support: the RYSEN™

As the first rehabilitation center in the Netherlands, Heliomare will allow patients who are not yet able to support their own weight to already train balance and walking. This is made possible by the innovative RYSEN, a new weight support system developed by Motek Medical in collaboration with leading institutions in both industry and academia. The RYSEN allows for early walking, especially for people who are recovering from a stroke, spinal cord injury, amputation or who are not yet strengthened enough after an illness, for example a COVID-19 infection.
One of its unique features is the ability to provide adjustable vertical and horizontal assistive forces, offering unprecedented freedom of movement.
Installation and beginning of operations is expected in the second half of 2020.

The RYSEN™ consists of a harness connected to four motorized pulleys attached to the ceiling via a rail system. Part of the advanced state-of-the-art system is the support of patients’ weight without affecting their natural gait. A patient can choose to step to any side, turn around, climb stairs or even walk backwards. As a result, there is no restriction in movement and the training becomes immediately functional. The RYSEN supports in an “assistance-as-needed” capacity, meaning a therapist can quickly change the given support at any time, depending on the exercise and the extent to which a patient can support his or her own weight. It is also very safe to use and can reduce fear of falling, as it registers when a patient starts to lose balance and subsequently takes preventive action. It is expected that patients will be able to start intensive and functional exercise at an early stage, which scientific research by Heliomare will probe further.

Strategic partnership for research and innovation

Heliomare and Motek recently signed a cooperation agreement, which also confirmed Heliomare’s purchase of the RYSEN™. After its installation, Heliomare’s Innovation & Development (R&D) department will conduct direct research into the effect of the RYSEN and the added value for patients. Heliomare does so together with Motek and the faculties of Human Movement Sciences at the VU and RUG. Right from the start, patients will also begin training functionally and this form of therapy will be included in the rehabilitation program. The RYSEN can be used for almost all diagnosis groups with locomotion disorders. In addition to research into the general effects of the RYSEN, research is also being conducted into the use of Virtual Reality. For this, projectors are mounted onto the ceiling, which project objects or a game on the floor, which allows elderly, adult and child patients to train specific gait patterns. Based on the research, this VR software can then be further developed and incorporated into functional clinical treatment protocols.

Research in specialized medical rehabilitation in the Netherlands

The Netherlands are at the forefront of global rehabilitation innovation and scientific research. Many collaborations exist between research groups, clinical institutions like rehabilitation centers, and advanced rehabilitation-technology companies such as Motek Medical, whose products are used all over the world.
The Innovation and Development department of Heliomare conducts (applied) scientific research in co-operation with various universities and colleges in the Netherlands as well as the business community in order to realize and implement the best possible treatments in clinical rehabilitation care.

Says Prof. Dr. Coen van Bennekom, rehabilitation doctor and Innovation & Development Manager at Heliomare:
“With this research, we want to show whether earlier beginning of training and more intensive exercises also lead to quicker effects in regards to mobility.”

Says Dr. Frans Steenbrink, Head of Market Development at Motek Medical:
“We are very proud of the first RYSEN in a rehabilitation center in the Netherlands and especially of the strategic cooperation with Heliomare in which we will further shape the clinical implementation of the RYSEN and the further development of its Virtual Reality setup.”

At Heliomare, children, young people and adults with a disability are more likely to participate again. With over 30 locations, Heliomare is the only care and educational institution in North Holland where one can find a total solution. The areas of expertise in education, work integration, rehabilitation and sports are part of this.
For more information, visit www.heliomare.nl

Motek Medical
Frans Steenbrink, PT, PhD
T: 020 301 3020
M: 06 2414 08 14
E: frans.steenbrink@motekmedical.com

Heliomare
Marja de Bas
T: 088 920 80 14
M: 06 33 04 30 41
E: m.de.bas@heliomare.nl