The intelligence of VitalStim Therapy: housed in a clinical device aptly named Intelect. Intelect VitalStim by Chattanooga Group provides seven specific parameter sets to meet the needs of the physicians and SLP’s who treat dysphagia. Each contains both a graphical and text explanation of the different electrode placements along with detailed descriptions about the VitalStim waveform. The device enables the clinician to edit certain parameters such as treatment time, intensity and phase duration to match the treatment needs of their dysphagic patients.
With four channels of stimulation on board, the clinician can simultaneously provide therapy to both sides of the face and the anterior portion of the neck. Even difficult conditions such as scar tissue, patient frailty, and fatigue are now more easily treatable with Intelect VitalStim.
Intelect VitalStim helps the patient and therapist work together to achieve the best possible treatment outcomes. The educational diagrams found in the device increase the patient and caregiver’s understanding of dysphagia and the goals of the therapy. Building on this understanding, the patient is actually able to interact with the device’s on-screen visual, auditory and sensory biofeedback during the treatment session. This exchange helps improve patient motivation, patient compliance, and patient performance. By working harder to reach their swallowing goal, the patient is “rewarded” with feedback and an increase in performance. Likewise, the therapist benefits from the on-screen clinical resource library which provides information about anatomy and pathology and illustrates specific electrode placement as well as swallowing anatomy. The therapist can further use these screens as teaching tools to the patient as well, engaging them in their treatment protocol.
Intelect VitalStim’s Patient Data Cards display useful information about previous treatment sessions such as: the number of successful swallows, average amplitude level, exact electrode placement and other patient specific functional data. Using this data, the therapist can provide a better continuity of therapy by “picking up where they left off.” The device records and reports information back to the therapist in a meaningful, objective, and industry accepted format. Evidenced-based tracking tools such as FOIS, weight, and VAS pain rating are utilized. Because proper documentation is necessary for the facility’s regulatory compliance, the Intelect VitalStim device prompts the clinician to input all relevant data.
Optional: Surface Electromyography (sEMG) - reading and recording muscle activation.