Rehab Innovations combatting COVID-19

KITE scientist Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi

While much of the world’s medical community is focused on COVID-19 vaccines or finding pharmaceuticals to treat the disease, Toronto Rehab’s KITE research staff are examining the after-effects of the virus and redeploying rehab resources to help.

“We’re going to be able to deliver rehab to as many patients as possible in new ways. Not only those with COVID-19,” says KITE scientist Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi. “If we can deliver great rehab remotely and effectively, we can take a lot of pressure off the health care system and caregivers.”

Dr. Yadollahi develops wearable medical devices that can measure respiration and heart rate, among other indicators. She’s adapting these tools to help diagnose COVID-19 and track recovery, and will possibly use them in high-risk groups, such as people experiencing homelessness, to help manage outbreaks in at-risk communities.

There are a number of innovations being developed at KITE related to COVID-19. Many services and research projects have been modified to help those with the virus. That includes an internet-based cognitive therapy project that’s been adapted for survivors – indeed, this virus impacts the brain too, and many people experience cognitive decline after being bedridden and on painkillers for long periods.

While there’s still a lot of work to be done, researchers are excited about new opportunities that COVID-19 is presenting for rehab research and services.

Philanthropy plays a vital role in bolstering the infrastructure that Toronto Rehab requires to turn the ideas of our clinicians and scientists into home, community, and hospital-based advancements and innovations. Donors contribute to the physical equipment and facility requirements of our researchers while also helping fund their research studies and leverage further granting opportunities.  

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