Minot Health & Rehab offers new treatment program for individuals with swallowing disorders

Imagine not being able to share a meal with friends or family or having to eat through a tube. These are just some of the social, emotional and physical challenges individuals with swallowing disorders — also known as “dysphagia” — face each day. Fortunately, there is a new hope for the more than 15 million Americans — with more than one million new cases each year — who suffer from swallowing disorders.

Minot Health & Rehab, announced the introduction of the Synchrony Dysphagia Solution, a new therapy program to treat this prevalent disease. Minot Health & Rehab is one of only two providers in the state to offer this revolutionary new program, which employs new technology based on recent medical science.

“This is a very exciting technology which gives us the capability to assist patients with swallowing issues and help give them speech therapy that will help them function as normal as possible,” said Ashley Tanner, Executive Director of Minot Health & Rehab. “We are committed to leading edge therapies, like the Synchrony program, that can help improve function and quality of life for our residents and rehabilitation patients.”

Swallowing disorders can result from a stroke, brain injury, cancer, or neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. This serious condition can often lead to re-hospitalization as well as serious complications such as dehydration, malnutrition, and aspiration pneumonia. In fact, dysphagia causes over 60,000 deaths each year and is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.

However, recent medical research has shown that dysphagia can be effectively treated. These treatments include guided biofeedback, which is used in Minot Health & Rehab’s program. Their new Synchrony program uses a Virtual Reality-assisted biofeedback system called OMNIsEMG that enables patients to “see” their swallows on a large monitor in color. This unique technology- the first of its kind worldwide — enables Speech Language Pathologists and their patients to identify the muscle activity and coordination required for normal swallowing. Patients also participate in game-like interactive exercises that help them stay motivated and interested in the rehabilitation process. Patients think the activities are fun and challenging so they tend to exercise longer, which helps improve treatment outcomes.

The Synchrony Program at Minot Health & Rehab is offered in conjunction with Accelerated Care Plus (ACP), the nation’s leading provider of evidence based clinical programs and rehabilitation technology. The treatment program is eligible for reimbursement by Medicare and most commercial insurers. For more information about Minot Health & Rehab’s new program for swallowing disorders, please contact our admissions team.