We have been working on a project with St. Johns Medical Center, Peace Health Dialysis Center, in Longview, Washington, that I would like to tell you about.
The Peace Health Dialysis Center has taken our TherapyCycle PC and sat them at their dialysis chairs. Recent studies show that giving a patient the option to exercise while receiving dialysis can enhance treatment. Blood flow thru the tissue is increased when exercise using lower extremity muscles allow capillaries to open up more to provide a greater surface area for exchange of substances from tissue to blood.
Here is what Carey Wallace, RN, Clinic Manager of Peace Health Dialysis had to say, " I have an elderly gentleman who bikes through the first 2 hours of every run (resting as needed) and has seen a significant improvement in treatment blood pressure readings. This gentleman used to dump every treatment into the 50s systolic and now maintains above 70 systolic! He also attributes the increased strength in his legs to the decrease in number of times he has fallen at home. It's been almost a month since he has fallen at all!"
Peace Health has initiated a contest with their patients, a "Seattle to Portland bike race". Peace Health nursing staff charted the miles that each patient pedaled during their treatment on a banner that hung in the clinic. Carey Wallace says "Our patients participated in a Seattle to Portland bike race, following a map of the actual race biked annually in our area every year. They enjoyed it immensely." Since the beginning of this project many of the patients have now purchased bikes for their homes and are continuing their exercise programs on their own.
The TherapyCycle PC plugs into a USB port and becomes interactive with on-line PC Games and Virtual reality worlds. The pedal motion of the bike controls the character/vehicle in the game. The patients at Peace Health loved this program because the interactive features allowed them to take their mind off of the treatment while getting them the exercise that enhances their treatment.