Therapeutic devices typically fall into two categories: those that assist a patient in their daily activities, and those that assist medical personal in delivering therapeutic services. Patient assistive devices include hearing aids, visual aids, canes, walkers, or any other device that allows patients to perform tasks they otherwise would not be able to perform due to a physical limitation or disability. Examples of therapeutic devices used by medical personnel include oxygen delivery systems, catheters, intravenous lines, and physical therapy equipment.
For those with minor visual or hearing impairments, therapeutic devices such as hearing aids or glasses can help them achieve significantly improved vision and hearing. Even in severe cases, these devices can greatly enhance the users’ ability to perform regular daily tasks, such as reading, watching television, or carrying on a conversation. Assistive devices for those with complete loss of hearing or vision are also available. These may include text-to-speech programs and Braille books for the blind, and closed-caption technology for the deaf. Although these devices do not restore any of the lost sense, they allow users to participate in activities they may otherwise have to avoid.
Numerous different types of therapeutic devices are used for those with physical impairments that inhibit their ability to walk. Crutches and canes can help those with temporary or minor impairments, while walkers and wheelchairs are available for those with more severe limitations. An artificial joint can replace a patient’s damaged existing one to provide better overall mobility. The most common procedures include knee or hip replacements. Physical therapy equipment, including massage tables, weight machines, and even hot tubs, can be used to help patients regain mobility after a surgery or accident.
Doctors and nurses use therapeutic devices every day in medical facilities. Oxygen delivery systems, including masks, tanks, and other devices used in respiratory therapy, are among the most commonly used devices in a hospital setting. Catheters can be used to both deliver necessary medications into the body and remove specific fluids, such as urine, from the body. Wound care implements, such as suctioning devices and bandages, are therapeutic because they help the wounds heal and prevent infection from occurring.
Therapeutic devices may also include modifications to a home that allow patients a wider range of mobility or keep them safer. For example, those who use a wheelchair or have difficulty climbing steps may have a ramp installed outside their home. For indoor staircases, special lift devices can be installed to carry patients safely to the upper levels. Rails and seating can be installed in shower stalls or bathtubs. All of these devices make it easier and safer for patients with physical limitations to remain in their own homes.