The Teleton Institue in Santiago, Chile received a very special guest when Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, visited them to learn more about the technologies the centre is using to help treat children and young adults with disabilities.
The head of Microsoft, accompanied by the CEO of Microsoft Chile, Oliver Flögel, was received by a delegation from Telethon led by its Chairman, Dr. Humberto Chiang and included its Executive Vice President, Mario Bridges; Executive Director, Ximena Casarejos; Director of the National Institutes Telethon, Dr. Milton Gonzalez, the Director of the Institute of Santiago, Dr. Ricardo Eckardt. and Cristobal Artigas, Director of Virtualware Chile
Nadella participated in a demonstration of the telerehabilitation software platform VirtualRehab, which uses the motion capture technology of the Microsoft Kinect. VirtualRehab allows the children and adolescents at the Institute to do the necessary therapy movements for their rehabilitation in the form of gamified exercises while being remotely supervised by therapists.
During the demonstration of VirtualRehab with one of the patients, Mr. Nadella could see first-hand how a therapist, using a Windows-based tablet, could track the patient’s results, as well as being able to customize and tweek their exercise programs remotely thanks to VirtualRehab’s use of t the Azure Cloud platform. Mr. Nadella was told of the importance of this telerehabilitation feature in VirtualRehab to those families who have difficulties in getting to the centre for their children’s rehabilitation sessions.
Oliver Flögel, CEO of Microsoft Chile, said “We’ve been supporting Teleton various years and we’ve seen the impact that technology has had on helping people with their rehabilitation. This gives sense to much of our work.” Eso le da sentido a nuestro trabajo
For Ximena Casarejos, Executive Director of Teleton, this special visit was an honour for the organization and highighted its roles as a leader in the application of innovation and technology in the field of rehabilitation. “It gives us great pride that the head of such an important company like Microsoft would take the time to visit our centre in his first visit to Chile and could see for himself how technology can be used to help in the rehabilitation of young people as well as helping their families.
Casarejos followed up by explaining that Microsoft has always generously donated licenses and programs to the Institute, which made “it’s CEO’s visit so important in that he could see specifically how these tools were being used to improve the quality of life of thousands of children and young people. We’re very pleased that he was so genuinely interested in what we’re doing here and the importance of telerehabilitation.”
For his part, Dr. Milton González, Medical Director of the Telethon Institutes, welcomed Mr. Nadella’s visit as an incentive to continue brining innovation to the rehabilitation process. "We know that technology can contribute greatly to children and young people achieving greater autonomy and independence and improving their quality of life. Our challenge is to continue working with all available tools that will ultimately allow us to promote real inclusion in society for them. "
La UTA realiza variadas actividades con el fin de potenciar la autonomía e independencia de los niños y jóvenes en situación de discapacidad, usando la tecnología como medio para mejorar su calidad de vida.
Indeed, Microsoft solutions have been used in the process of rehabilitation in Telethon centres, mainly through their Assistive Technology Unit.
The Unit performs for various activities using technology for the children and young people with disabilities in order to strengthen their autonomy and independence and ultimately improve their quality of life.
The unit attends approximately 620 people per year, and has had a total of 28,600 appointments in the past 5 years of operation. In this time Teleton has worked on the development of customized low-cost technological devices, using software and applications that can be used by children and adolescents with sever motor skills problems; alternative communication systems, virtual rehabilitation using technology as a motivational factor, adapted musical instruments, adapted toys, robotic workshops and the use of video games among other activities.
Microsoft is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington, and was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Maker of the Windows operating system, Microsoft is one of the most recognized and valuable companies in the world, and is the world's largest software maker measured by revenues.
Satya Nadella is an Indian-American engineer who became CEO of Microsoft in 2014. He began his career as an engineer at Sun Microsystems, and then joined Microsoft 24 years ago. Before becoming CEO of Microsoft, he was Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company's Computing Platforms, Developer Tools and Cloud Computing Services.
About Teleton Chile
Teleton Chile is a non-profit institution dedicated to the rehabilitation of children and young people with physical disabilities, which emphasizes improving their quality of life, promoting the dignity of people and encourages the development of their skills and inclusion in society. In its 30 year history, Telethon Chile has become a national leader in providing clinical services and education to help Chilean children and young people with disabilities, and has become a model in other countries in Latin America.
Virtualware Group is a group of technology companies founded more than 10 years ago and specializes in immersive and interactive technologies. The company develops a wide variety of innovative technological solutions and products for the healthcare market, including VirtualRehab, through its Virtualware Health business unit. With 50 professionals working in offices in the UK, Spain, Mexico, Chile and Colombia, Virtualware is recognized for its commitment to innovation, differentiation and bringing added value to all its projects and products.