Conference Showcases Impact of Latest Assistive Technology on Rehabilitation for the Seriously Injured
By Bush & Company
Last month, more than 200 health and legal professionals gathered in Nottingham to learn about cutting edge research in the rehabilitation sector, at a conference that highlighted advancements in assistive technology and its impact on the lives of people with an acquired physical disability.
The ‘Back in the Game’ conference, hosted by the UK’s largest provider of expert witness, assessment and case management services Bush & Company, was held at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel on 6 July, showcasing speakers from the world of sport, prosthetics and law.
Helen Jackson, Managing Director at Bush & Company, said: “This was a unique opportunity to learn about advancements in prosthesis technology and how this is supporting therapy and rehabilitation following a serious injury.
“Cross sector knowledge sharing enables us to better understand the widening options available for our clients and help them to obtain equipment that suits their individual needs, so that they may regain quality of life.”
The delegates heard from Scott Richardson, Business Development Manager at Pace Rehabilitation. Scott, a leg amputee himself, demonstrated some of the latest developments in prosthetic technology, including microprocessor controlled components and osseointegration, and the impact they have on amputees and their day to day living.
Scott, said: “It may sound a strange thing to say, but it’s actually a good time to be an amputee. Prosthetic technology is continually advancing, with more than 500 prosthetic feet and 250 prosthetic knee options currently on the market.
“We are seeing a move towards combined microprocessor knee and ankle systems which offer potential for increased function and stability for the client. However, with systems costing between £50,000 and £117,000, it would be fair to say that when the bar gets raised technologically it does so financially too.
“We already know that personal injury claims settled last year are underfunded when it comes to state of the art prosthetic provision, and so I appreciate the pressure case managers are under to secure appropriate equipment that will give their client a better quality of life.”
The conference also welcomed speaker Taher Dhuliawala, a Senior Neurological Physiotherapist at Physio Function, who has a special interest in spinal cord injury patients and exoskeletons. He added: “Exoskeletons are currently very expensive devices but can help avoid many of the complications of wheelchair life and can help with relief for neuropathic pain.
“However, with advancements in manufacturing process such as 3D printing and actuator (motor) technology, we will hopefully see a time when this type of equipment starts to replace other wheelchairs as a primary means of mobility for people with physical impairments.”
The conference concluded with a medico-legal debate on the impact of technological advances on a claim. Solicitor Katherine Lennon from Brethertons, David Johnson partner at Weightmans law firm and Tracey Pike, claims manager at Zurich Insurance Company agreed that synergy between the insurer and solicitor is paramount to the resolution of a claim, considering the unknown outcomes of technological advancements.
Bush & Company provides specialist medico-legal and rehabilitation expertise to insurance companies and solicitors, working with people who have sustained serious or catastrophic injuries, Bush & Company acts on referral from the injured person or by instruction from a Claimant representative or a Defendant.