17:10 PM

Shepherd Center Debuts Newly Integrated Sip-and-Puff System

ATLANTA (August 18, 2009) – Shepherd Center has developed a new, integrated sip-and-puff control system.

“The single device system gives the patient a sense of controlling their environment, which is important,” says Assistive Technology Center manager John Anschutz, who developed the system with help from Jiasheng He, a Georgia Institute of Technology student who interned at Shepherd this past summer.

“Controlling your environment is huge,” explains Shepherd patient James Brown. “This is really cutting-edge technology compared to where we were 16 years ago. When I was first injured, I had to call my mom all the time to do things for me.”

Anschutz and his staff tested the system, which allows the user to adjust lights, control a television’s power and channels, make phone calls and summon a nurse.  Ultimately, Anschultz wants to provide a cost-effective version of the integrated sip-and-puff system to patients like James for use in their homes.

“First, we want to get this system into the hospital rooms of all patients who need them, and then get systems into their homes,” Anschutz says. “We have some steep hills to climb to get there. We want to keep it simple and cheap and fill a niche where there isn’t a lot out there that is inexpensive.”

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.