Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia first to adopt ‘HAL’ technology

Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia first to adopt ‘HAL’ technology

KOTA BHARU: Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital, Kubang Kerian, here is the first university hospital to offer Robotics Rehabilitation Services in Malaysia to help paralysed patients recover.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) vice-chancellor, Prof Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan said the initiative was the result of collaboration with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to provide the best rehabilitation treatment services to the community.

He said USM Hospital was chosen to develop the high-tech medical rehabilitation programme called Cybernics Treatment as rehabilitation is one of the fields promoted by his team.

“To realise this dream, USM has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Socso on March 4 before receiving patients on Sept 8 which have now reached a total of 18 with the help of five USM Hospital rehabilitation personnel.

“For the first phase, Socso has supplied six units of Robot Suit Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) exoskeleton developed by the Centre for Cybernics Research, University of Tsukuba, Japan. The technology combines the expertise in the fields humanities and neuroscience and it will be enhanced by Socso from time to time, depending on the need.”

He said this to reporters after launching the Robotics Rehabilitation Services at USM Hospital here today which was also attended by Socso chief executive, Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed, USM Hospital director, Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Sukari Halim and Kelantan Socso director, Nora Yaacob.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Azman said the collaboration in creating the HAL Rehabilitation Services at USM Hospital was one of the results of Socso’s commitment and efforts to help Socso benefit recipients in Kelantan and other East Coast states who suffered injuries, accidents or physical disabilities to return to work and be independent in their daily lives.

He said, in achieving this goal, Socso always identified strategic partners, especially public institutions of higher learning in Malaysia such as USM to share expertise to further expand services and improve the quality of the rehabilitation services provided.

“This is a win-win situation. From the university’s perspective, technology and information can be used as facts for research while from Socso’s point of view, we really need these services to help our contributors who suffer from disabilities or accidents to return to work.

“In fact, through the Socso rehabilitation programme, the Socso Rehabilitation Centre Melaka has successfully treated more than 2,500 employees between 2014 and 2017 through the ‘Return To Work’ programme and we hope more Socso contributors with disabilities will recover and return to work,” he said.