SEOUL, May 19 (Korea Bizwire) – Severance Hospital cardiologist Kang Seok-min and one of his former heart failure patients, Kim Soo-kyung, have developed a “smart recumbent bicycle” for rehabilitating patients with cardiopulmonary complications.
Kang and Kim first came up with the idea two years ago. Kang provided his medical expertise while Kim, CEO of healthcare company Nano Bio Life, developed the device. Physical therapist Yoo Ho-yoel, from Severance Cardiovascular Hospital, also chipped in his experience.
According to officials, the indoor bicycle automatically adjusts the angle of the seat and the height of the pedals depending on the physical condition of the patient, the area and the level of pain, and the muscle group that the patient wishes to improve.
At the front of the bike is a tablet PC that gives instructions for the patient to follow. After a quick assessment of his or her exercise ability, the most appropriate rehab program is recommended. The workout intensity is automatically adjusted based on the changes in the patient’s heart rate.
The bicycle is built with a device to allow easier access to patients on wheelchairs, and is designed to accommodate patients with partial paralysis as well, officials added.
“It’s a device that helps even older patients with cardiopulmonary diseases to effectively improve their heart and lung functions, while minimizing pain,” said Kang. “We expect it to provide a new turning point for the patient rehab efforts.”
A prototype is currently in use at the Heart Failure & Cardiac Wellness Center of the Severance Cardiovascular Hospital. Kang and Kim plan to make improvements to the bike after trial runs on patients with heart failure and those recovering from cardiac transplantation.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)