Andreas Meyer-Heim




PD Dr Meyer-Heim is the Chief Medical Officer of the Rehabilitation Centre Affoltern am Albis and Department of Rehabilitation at the University Children’s Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. He is Pediatrician subspecialisied in Neurodisabilities & paediatric Rehabilitation and PD (private lecturer) at the University of Zurich (UZH) in the field of Peadiatric Rehabilitation and associated lecturer at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHaW).

He is co-chairman of the Swiss Academy of Childhood Disability (SACD), past board member of the Swiss Society of NeuroRehabilitation (SGNR), group leader at the Neuroscience Centre Zurich (ZNZ), member of the Rehabilitation Initiative & Technology Platform Zurich (RITZ) and joint member in the Clinical Research Priority Program (CRPP): Neuro-rehabilitation: strategies for customized treatments of the University Zurich. Dr. Meyer-Heim focuses on novel therapeutic approaches for sensory-motor learning in children with CNS disabilities. His special interest is in the development, clinical application and research of effectiveness of a variety of therapies in pediatric rehabilitation especially robot-assisted and computer-based methods.


Conference Presentation

Plenary Keynote: Novel Rehab-Technologies for Children With ABI: Rationale, Indication, Goal-Setting

In recent years a growing interest in the development of robot assisted and computer based rehabilitation devices has been observed, not only for adults but also for children. These innovative technologies allow mapping the principles of sensory-motor learning. The automatisation offers an increase of repetitions and mirrors the dosage-dependency of rehabilitation measures. The devices also provide the possibility of augmentable feedback and even its combination with cognitive tasks, which enhance patient’s motivation and active participation. So far, for adult stroke-patients literature shows good evidence for efficacy of these new therapies, in children however the evidence is not yet clear. An international cooperation of Advanced Robotic Technology Integrated Centers (ARTIC) aims to increase the numbers of treated cases in order to investigate the outcome data of these new rehabilitation technologies including children with acquired brain injuries. As in every other therapy, there are indications and contra-indications when using robot-assisted and computer-based therapies or assistive technologies. Individual goal-setting in the clinical application of these rehab technologies is crucial. Further development should focus on improvement of therapy functions, which are relevant towards the activities of daily living. This lecture will provide a short insight into future options to use novel technologies for assessments in order to delineate individual progress in recovery and its prognostic potential. The spreading use and the clinical implementation of new devices in rehabilitation has to jointly go with reflections about ethics and education of staff. 


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