Cēsis clinic is the first health institution in Latvia that has begun offering a new program for stroke patients that aims to reduce the time and efforts needed to recover from stroke and return back to normal life. The application “Vigo”, made in Latvia, thus far provides the greatest availability and most frequent rehabilitation out of all stroke rehabilitation programs, and can be used at home or when the medical specialist is not around. It is personalized for the needs of each individual stroke survivor.
“At a time when many health institutions are starting to consider options to consult with patients remotely, Cēsis clinic has taken an important step in using modern technology aids. It is obvious that the lead and personnel of Cēsis clinic are thinking strategically, and I am very pleased about that. Because I myself grew up in Cēsis, I feel honored that once again my hometown demonstrates its progressive spirit. Other health institutions, and not only in Latvia, have expressed a similar initiative, and we are sure they will be able to learn a lot from Cēsis’ example,” Kristaps Krafte, Founder of Vigo, comments.
The pilot project in Cēsis clinic will last three months. During this time, the usual consultations with medical specialists and physiotherapy exercises will be complemented with “Vigo” application for free for clinic’s inpatients. Neurologist Inese Irbe from Cēsis clinic, who coordinates the collaboration with the app developers, talks about the goals of the pilot project and the benefits patients will experience.
How does this program work?
Vigo works as a digital assistant during rehabilitation process for patients after they experience stroke. At the moment the process is not completely automatized, but down the line that is the goal. The program is customized for each patient individually, considering each individual’s functional abilities, and is put together by medical and technical specialists.
The greatest benefit for a stroke patient is that the application helps with covering the period in between treatment in hospital and being able to start a rehabilitation program in person in one of the rehabilitation facilities. It provides not only physical benefits but emotional support as well which is no less important for a stroke survivor. This therapeutic can help motivate patients such that they work on their own to recover their health, and such that they find this process interesting. That is why the developers have intended to incorporate gamification elements with virtual rewards after each completed exercise.
What is the role of Cēsis clinic in this pilot project?
Through obtaining wider clinical experience, we will be able to work out guidelines to see which patients will find “Vigo” digital therapy the most useful and for whom it won’t be suitable unfortunately. Additionally, we will work an an algorithm that will standardize the introduction of “Vigo” for patients and the prescription to use it at home. Afterwards, this experience will be useful for other health institutions. We have received the equipment needed from “Vigo” app developers – a stand and a tablet, as well as the rights to use the program’s demo version.
Which patients will be prioritized for offering Vigo?
Those will be patients with acute stroke who are being treated at Cēsis clinic. We are planning to offer the program to most patients who have the communication abilities that allow for that.
Will this tool be helpful for patients who suffered stroke a year ago or more?
The target audience is acute patients. However, patients who had stroke a while ago should maintain rehabilitation procedures at a level that at least would help maintain the previously achieved results.
How is collaboration with other clinic’s specialists intended?
The evaluation of the application is interdisciplinary, it is a team work. Just like up to date, we will include a rehabilitologist and a physiotherapist who will come to the patients, work with them in person and will evaluate their progress. Because these medical specialists work with each patient a certain amount of time, the digital therapy will be available to them for use for the rest of the time. Therefore patients will certainly benefit.
The founder of Vigo is Kristaps Krafte, who while studying healthcare innovations in Copenhagen and Rotterdam, found himself working in evaluating the efficiency of stroke treatment. Vigo Co-founder Jānis Šlēziņš, a neurologist, has work experience in Latvia, the UK and Portugal. Vigo partners with National Rehabilitation Center “Vaivari” in Latvia.
To learn more about Vigo, read in our homepage.