More and more occupational and physical therapists are realizing the benefit of utilizing environmental control units for disabled individuals in hospital settings. An environmental control unit (ECU) is a type of adaptive equipment for quadriplegics and individuals with various types of disabilities. It allows patients, especially those with spinal cord injuries, to gain control of their surroundings and experience independence. Incorporating an ECU in hospital settings can significantly benefit both the patient and care staff. Not all hospitals are equipped with an ECU. Hospital staff and therapists who have worked with ECU’s report the following advantages:
- Ability for patients to control their surroundings
- Bed control
- Television control
- Ability to make phone calls
- Ability to play games and access the Internet
ASI has installed our signature autonoME in spinal cord injury units throughout the country. The autonoME is both an ECU and communications device for quadriplegics, which means it also helps individuals communicate in addition to controlling their environment.
The autonoME can be equipped with various input methods to accommodate the needs of a wide range of individuals. Touch screen, voice activation, sip ‘n puff, head tracking and eye gaze can all be used to control the autonoME. In many cases, patients who have used an ECU in hospital settings will also purchase one when they transition home. Perhaps the biggest advantage of incorporating an ECU in hospital settings is that the patient will have already learned how to use the unit when they return home.
There are countless benefits of an ECU. Hospital based physical and occupational therapists are turning to this type of quadriplegic assistive technologies to help their patients adapt to their injury or disease and ultimately gain independence.
Want to learn more? Contact ASI today for a complimentary demonstration