The World's First and Only AbilityLab™
Helping Patients Re-imagine and Regain Functional Independence in Ways They Never Thought Possible
The AbilityLab™ is an inspiring state-of-the-art therapy environment with the most advanced technology and tools. Our scientists and physicians collaborate in real-time next to the patient, assessing their needs and developing customized recovery solutions to get people better, faster.
A Novel Treatment Space for Patient Recovery and New Possibilities
Opened January 2012, RIC introduced the world’s first AbilityLab™. The world looks to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) to Advance Human Ability™, where discoveries are creating new possibilities and revolutionizing patient outcomes.
- An amalgamation of clinicians and scientists around the inpatients
- Space design that inspires and influences behavior and recovery
- Smart technology everywhere
- Energy conveyed through color, textiles, and aesthetic design
- Revolutionary equipment including robots and anti-gravity systems
Revolutionizing Patient Outcomes
Now RIC introduces an innovative approach in health care: fusing together live medical research and clinical care, surrounding the patient within the hospital setting. In RIC’s novel AbilityLab™, an inspiring, state-of-the-art environment with the most advanced technology and tools, RIC clinicians and researchers will collaborate live, assessing patient needs and developing solutions to solve patient problems better and faster. This radical new design of rehabilitation will enable RIC to create new possibilities for patient recovery.
Harnessing the Latest Technology
From robots to anti-gravity systems, RIC is harnessing the latest technology to improve patient outcomes. Novel rehabilitation technology includes an anti-gravity track (also called an ambulation system) built into the ceiling. Supported by a harness suspended from the track, patients can walk around the 9th floor bearing as much of their own body weight – movement proven to benefit every system of the body and enhance recovery.
Patients working on ambulation may wear pedometers, enabling RIC staff to collect data and measure how much patients improve over the length of their stay. Pedometers will also help patients set – and achieve – concrete goals toward improvement in walking.
New Paradigm of Care
RIC’s AbilityLab™ will be the nexus of a newly redesigned patient Recovery Unit on the 9th floor of RIC’s flagship hospital in downtown Chicago. Launched January 2012, the new RIC Recovery Unit expands the Institute’s inpatient capacity significantly for a total of 182 beds, enabling RIC to serve even more patients with this new paradigm of care.
RIC is the top destination for patients around the globe who seek the best rehabilitation care; with research fueling better treatments for a wide variety of patient conditions, the demand for RIC’s services is continuing to grow.
A Novel Test-Bed
RIC’s AbilityLab™ and new patient Recovery Unit also will serve as a test-bed for ideas and best practices as RIC designs its new Research Hospital of the future, one that will infuse 21st Century biomedical science into the clinical environment in ways unlike any other. RIC is setting the new direction in rehabilitation recovery and leading a new generation for the delivery of health care outcomes.
Current Research Projects Underway
- Constraint Induced Language Therapy for Inpatients With Aphasia
Julie Carpenter, MA, CCC-SLP
Leora Cherney, PhD, BC-ANCDS, CCC-SLP
- Enriched Environment to Improve Outcomes in Patients with Stroke
T. George Hornby, PT, PhD and Locomotor Recovery Laboratory
Jennifer Smith, MA, CCC-SLP and 9th floor Physical Therapy team
Nicole Sedam, MS, OTR/L and 8th floor Physical Therapy team
- Evaluating FT-WREX to Improve Functional Outcomes During UE Therapy
Richard Harvey, MD
Meghan Buell, OTR/L
- The Feasibility of High Repetition, Task Oriented Training in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Setting
Kim Waddell, MS, OTR/L
George Hornby, PT, PhD
- In-Bed Robotic Rehabilitation in Acute Stroke
Li-Qun Zhang, PhD
- The Role of Uncertainty in Human Motor Learning and Adaptation (Parkinson’s)
Konrad Kording, PhD
- Intensive Gait Training to Improve Community Ambulation After Stroke
T. George Hornby, PhD, PT
- Mechanisms Underlying Locomotor Recovery After Step Training in Spinal Cord Injury
Maria Knikou, PhD, PT
CK Mummidisetty, MS
- Pharmacological-Robotic Interventions to Promote Functional Recovery in SCI
Mehdi Mirbagheri, PhD