St. Luke's BITS program gives hope to struggling stroke patients - KCTV5

St. Luke's BITS program gives hope to struggling stroke patients

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BITS allows stroke patients use a large screen to work on visual and motor movements. (KCTV5) BITS allows stroke patients use a large screen to work on visual and motor movements. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A new program at St. Luke’s Hospital is offering hope for stroke patients who struggle with visual and motor movements.

The new tech-therapy is called BITS.

BITS stands for Bioness Integrated Therapy Systems and allows stroke patients to use a large screen to work on visual and motor movements.

Dr. Casey Martinez, a neuro rehab specialist at St. Luke’s Hospital, says while they have other therapies, BITS is the most effective.

“One of the things that this does is that this is a lot more interactive than some the older tools that we use," Dr. Martinez said.

Tim Riordan used the tool in 2016.

Riordan was at home working out when he noticed something wasn’t right.

"I was working out on the elliptical when thought the machine went all screwy and it turned out I was the one who was having a stroke and didn’t realize it," Riordan said.

As a result, Riordan’s vision was compromised. He suddenly couldn’t see to the right from either eye, which took him off the road.

Doctors had him use the BITS technology twice a week for three months.

The work was challenging at times but the goal was always clear, to recover so he could get back behind the wheel.

“Because we can customize it, it allows the therapist a little more room to tailor the therapy for that individual patient," Dr. Martinez said.

“I had to learn to move my head so I could see things I used to be able to see through peripheral vision,” Riordan said.

It wasn’t long before Riordan took his driver’s test again and passed.

Dr. Martinez says BITS technology is not only for stroke or brain injury victims but also for anyone who may have movement disorders.

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