Virtual rehabilitation introduced at Beth Abraham rehab

Heather Imbriani, an occupational therapist at Beth Abraham, explains the benefits of the interactive rehab and exercise system. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Beth Abraham has renovated their short-term rehabilitation unit and is introducing innovative technology to increase patient recovery.

In November, residents of the Bronx were invited to 612 Allerton Avenue to celebrate the full completion of the area and were brought on guided tours, which included testing the virtual rehabilitation system.

The interactive rehab and exercise system, IREZ, is a camera-and-computer system, which allows the patient to view him or herself on a large plasma screen, being active in a virtual environment.

While using IREZ, which costs an estimated $ 15,000, the patient stands in front of a green wall, wearing red gloves that allow the system to calculate their body position and range of motion to apply to the software.

The therapist can choose from over 25 games that help the patient in their recovery through various challenges regarding different motions, while letting the patient have fun. Each game can be specifically adapted and adjusted to apply to the patient’s individual needs.

“This is a diagnostic tool for therapists,” said Randolf Palmaira, corporate director of rehabilitation.

“They can see where stimulation comes from and adjust the program to assist in balance and improve mobility.”

Unlike similar systems that may be used by other facilities,

IREZ has the capability to save patient information, allowing therapists to monitor patient progress and other useful information that can be applied to assist in recovery.

In addition, the facility has added or improved an occupational therapy room, fitness and balance center, and a speech therapy area.

All the units have tools and equipment designed to help the patient enter back into the outside world with as much ease as possible.

Patients may practice motions needed to drive on the model vehicle, or learn to use and adapt to any new equipment they may require in the lavatory, such as a shower seat.

They may also perform basic kitchen duties in the facility’s functioning mini kitchen, such as washing dishes or preparing a meal.

Beth Abraham is a training facility for Albert Einstein College of Medicine resident doctors and post-graduate students completing their training.

For further information call (888) BET-HABE or visi their website at

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