As part of a strategy to not only remain competitive but also deliver better community wellness, Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital in El Dorado has added a new motion health service line.
The cornerstone of the service line is the DARI Motion Health system, which was initially used to measure performance capabilities of NFL players, other high-performance athletes and U.S. military members. The El Dorado hospital was the first U.S. hospital to receive the system, says Garrett Daharsh, Vice President of Operations with Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital.
The hospital is helping the system’s parent company, Scientific Analytics Inc. (SAI), develop other applications of the system, focusing particularly on pre-employment screenings and overall employee wellness. Individuals can also schedule an assessment to get a customized reading on their motion health, Daharsh says.
“We want physicians to consider movement as a vital sign or a biomarker,” says Joel Hungate, Vice President of Orthopedic Programs with SAI. “We like to think of our system as the MRI of motion outcomes.”
SAI is partnering with other facilities to develop applications for different patient populations, such as total joint replacement patients, Hungate says.
By assessing an employee’s motion health, an employer can cut worker’s compensation costs, evaluate a potential employee’s ability to perform a job or simply help an employee move and feel better, thereby cutting down other health costs, Daharsh says.
"We like to think of our system as the MRI of motion outcomes.”
— Joel Hungate, Vice President of Orthopedic Programs with SAI
The DARI system, which received 510(k) clearance by the FDA in early March, uses an advanced 3D motion capture system to study and analyze an individual’s movement data. The system’s technology provides more consistent, accurate measurements than the traditional goniometer, says Brad Jones, a licensed athletic trainer for more than 25 years and Motion Health Coordinator at the hospital.
At Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital, DARI system testing is done in a room with eight ceiling-mounted cameras and a green screen floor.
“It will capture and measure between 150,000 to 300,000 marker points in the 19 movements” assessed as part of a functional movement analysis (FMA), explains Jones.
The FMA testing itself takes about 20 minutes, as Jones or another rehabilitation staff member from the hospital asks the person to perform various movements such as side lunges, squats, arm raises and more. The DARI system instantly generates a report about the individual’s lower body, shoulder and spine wellness, balance ability, and more. Once testing is complete, a rehabilitation staff member provides an individualized interpretation of the results and makes recommendations for improving or addressing problem areas.
Brad Jones, SBA licensed athletic trainer and Motion Health Coordinator, leads a DARI participant through 19 functional motions, including squats, jumps and a balance test. This part of the exam takes about 20 minutes to complete.
Jones sees this kind of testing as essential for a person’s well-being and risk prevention, because it can get to the root of motion health issues.
“It’s about fixing the foundation, not just fixing the cracks in the wall,” he says, using the analogy of a strong building to one’s body.
“If people move better, they eat better, and they sleep better,” Daharsh adds.
“If you don’t move well, your general health will decline,” says Becky Edson, the hospital’s Rehabilitation Manager. “We want to be on the cutting edge of helping people by providing a more personalized, customized motion health plan, rather than saying ‘go join a gym.’”
The hospital also uses the new motion health service line to support other services, such as orthopedics and physical and occupational therapy.
Individuals undergoing the DARI motion health assessment complete a number of movements to identify possible issues that could lead to potential injuries, as well as identify ways to improve personalized training and rehabilitation services.