MedGizmo - MedGizmo: Wearables and Rehabilitation
22.11.2015, 15:32   MedGizmo

MedGizmo: Wearables and Rehabilitation

Medical Dictionary defines Rehabilitation as a treatment or treatments designed to facilitate the process of recovery from injury, illness, or disease to as normal a condition as possible. The purpose of rehabilitation is to restore some or all of the patient's physical, sensory, and mental capabilities that were lost due to injury, illness, or disease. As a rule, intensive rehabilitation decreases recovery time and achieves optimal rehabilitation outcomes. Wearables in this case play an extremely important role. Of course, there is an abundance of various literature on the subject, and we do not want to be ultimate experts, but in this post we will provide some interesting from our point of view insights in the subject.
Very systematic classification is given by this source:
Here existing in the market solutions are classified from a process point of view and divided into two main classes. In the first class (measuring patient’s movement and activity) data  is  continuously  collected  and recorded in order to be analyzed by specialists.  This data can be raw sensors data or processed data. The second class includes actions designed to classify the patient movements: the system extracts features from the collected data and matches them to well known motor patterns in order to answer to the question: ”what is the action being performed by the user?”

According to Frost & Sullivan, innovations in robotics, virtual reality, wearables, sensors and wireless technologies are revamping the rehabilitation device sector. Physical rehabilitation devices dominate market, while the focus is shifting from crutches and mobility aids to specific motor function devices, such as hand or arm rehabilitation devices. Robotics, virtual simulation and wearables have been incorporated into these rehabilitation devices with the aim of developing better devices for improved efficacy, safety and patient adherence, and subsequently, better quality of life. Technologies - augmentative communication in hearing devices, telescope technology in vision rehabilitation are drastically improving patients’ quality of life.
Paolo Bonato from Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, writes in his book:
Accurate assessment of motor abilities is important in selecting the best therapies for stroke survivors. These assessments are based on observations of subjects’ motor behavior using standardized clinical rating scales. Wearable sensors could be used to provide accurate measures of motor abilities in the home and community settings and could be leveraged upon to facilitate the implementation of telerehabilitation protocols.
Take a look at Mr. Bonato’s presentation:
Wearable Technology and its Applications in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Some of the issues discussed:
  • Stroke Rehabilitation Body sensor networks can track motor recovery in stroke survivors.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury - textile monitoring of hand movements can improve upper extremity rehabilitation

Here are some latest developments:

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Buffalo are developing new technology that could assist stroke victims and others with occupational and physical therapy at home. The project, “Cognitive Haptic-Based Rehabilitation System for Patient-Centric Home,” is funded by the National Science Foundation at $708,000 for three years.

The University of Waterloo and Pervasive Dynamics will develop and test wearable health technologies that can improve stroke rehabilitation as part of a new partnership aimed at transforming the health of older adults. The joint research initiative, the first partnership between Waterloo and the Canadian developer of medical devices, will be part of the new Advanced Aging ResearCH Centre (ARCH) at Waterloo.

Wearable Sensors for Cardiac Rehabilitation by researches of UC Berkeley
Discussion is centered on the opportunity to apply a wearable sensor based approach to increase participation, improve effectiveness, and reduce cost of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) through outpatient use.

The challenge of orthopaedic Rehabilitation
Proposed Design Approach for Interactive Feedback Technology Supports in Rehabilitation
by Oonagh M. Giggins Insight Centre for Data Analytics O’Brien Centre for Science UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4

Some latest practical solutions:

SEM™ Glove
People may suffer from an impaired grip strength due to countless reasons, such as muscle and nerve damage, muscle diseases, rheumatism and pain.
The SEM™ Glove strengthens the grip and either compensates where power is lacking or adds extra force and endurance.

TMG™ Rehabilitation monitoring

With TMG™ Rehabilitation monitoring, you selectively monitor each muscle’s progress and set new baselines. It can determine the extent of injury-induced dysfunction and the muscle’s remaining function capacity.

Rehab Robotics‘s Hand of Hope
The Hand of Hope system is the only wearable, portable robotic device to help stroke survivors relearn how to move affected hand using their own muscle signals. The technology enables stroke survivors to self-initiate and control movement of the weakened muscles.
 – an EMG-driven hand rehabilitation device for stroke patients. The award-winning technology helps stroke survivors relearn how to move the affected hand using their own muscle signals.

Corventis AVIVO  for remote monitoring of cardiovascular-related vitals
Corventis AVIVO  (FDA approved) is a non-invasive, wireless system that monitors cardiovascular conditions is used for rehabilitation purposes

RAPAEL Smart Rehabilitation System
RAPAEL Smart Rehabilitation System is designed to help rehabilitation for patients with central nervous system disorders. Provided game contents are created to cause brain plasticity and muscle retaining for patients with chronic stroke. Along with task training, applies sights and hearing at the same time to increase the brain activity of patient. In addition, bio-feedback device accurately assesses and analyzes the state of patient. With analyzed data, this system provides task-training games that suits the patient through ‘rehabilitation training algorithm,’ and adjusts the training level during game to provide training motivation with appropriate goal.
Neofect has developed and marketed a smart glove called Rapael, which allows for daily home rehabilitation at a price that most patients can afford.

Re-Step™ Rehabilitation System
Re-Step™ is a non-invasive, portable, easy-to-use, and pocket-sized rehab system
Re-Step™ is founded on the latest advances in neuroscience. The Re-Step™ training system improves the walking and balance performance of stroke and brain trauma patients or people with CP.
Its size and portability mean that Re-Step™ can be used not only at rehab facilities, but also at home if supervised by a physical therapist.


MusicGlove is a fun and effective rehabilitation device that helps restore hand function for individuals with stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other neurologic injuries. MusicGlove treatment motivates users to exercise through our custom therapy based music game. This makes it easy to perform the large number of repetitions needed to promote recovery.
MusicGlove Therapy has been proven to be effective in a randomized controlled trial conducted at the University of California in Irvine. Check out some of the other things people are saying about us in our Testimonials below, or by clicking a news article to the right.

We wanted to do something and help. In our project, we developed a new rehabilitation method which helps motivate young patients. This largely increases the efficiency of the treatment.
Our idea combines a wearable glove, a self-developed software and the virtual reality headset “Oculus Rift” to an immersive experience, which assists children and young adults in performing the exercises for their rehabilitation.

Ekso™  exoskeleton bionic suit

Ekso™ is a wearable bionic suit which enables individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness to stand up and walk over ground with a natural, full weight bearing, reciprocal gait. Walking is achieved by the user’s weight shifts to activate sensors in the device which initiate steps. Battery-powered motors drive the legs, replacing deficient neuromuscular function.
The Ekso GT robotic exoskeleton provides functional based rehabilitation, over ground gait training, and upright, weight bearing exercise under the supervision of a physical therapist.

ReWalk  robotic exoskeleton
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to stand upright, walk, turn, and climb and descend stairs*. ReWalk is the only FDA cleared exoskeleton for rehabilitation and personal use in the United States.
The ReWalk Personal System 6.0 is designed for all day walking and is the only device available for use at home and in the community. It provides the most precise fit, highest walking speed and most natural gait of any powered exoskeleton.

Vigour Wearable Tech For Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy
Vigour is a Product Service System that enables geriatric patients, physiotherapists and family to gain more insight in the exercises and progress of a rehabilitation process. A knitted cardigan with integrated stretch sensors monitors the movements of the upper body, and communicates this data to the service provider.
The garment can be worn all day and thereby gather data, and can be worn when executing rehabilitation exercises. An iPad application uses this data to give direct feedback to the wearer and physiotherapist by making sound and visualising progress.
This project has been developed as collaboration between TU/e (Martijn ten Bhömer), Pauline van Dongen, De Wever, Savo BV, Metatronics, TextileMuseum TextielLab and Unit040.

4G-PT virtual therapist
This solution will provide a virtual therapist throughout the patient’s perioperative care where their smartphone’s motion sensors track limb movement during exercise performance to quantify activity and response to rehabilitation. The system focuses on patient education, interactive rehabilitation exercise feedback, progress monitoring, and patient-clinician communication. We propose a trial to evaluate clinical and cost effectiveness

Valedo – Back pain therapy with Xsens technology
Hocoma a globally active medical technology company based near Zurich, Switzerland, and the leader in robotic rehabilitation therapy for neurological movement disorders. Hocoma develops innovative therapy solutions working closely with leading clinics and research centers.
Their most recent product – Valedo® – offers low back pain therapy by combining the latest Bluetooth Smart Energy with lightweight wearable 360 degree and 3D motion sensors and a state-of-the art software, allowing an innovative serious gaming experience with real-time performance feedback wherever and whenever you want. Hocoma worked closely with Xsens to get access to proven, low power, high performance 3D motion tracking technology and system design and to take Valedo to the mass market.

"Second Skin" Bainisha Patch
The ultra-thin, multi-layer polymer technology used in the Bainisha concepts is a new generation of wearables. The patch allows to compare very similar moves at an hitherto unattainable resolution and hence identifies extremely small differences. The key advantage is that it is worn in a daily life environment without it causing any discomfort. Because of the 24/7 unbiased measurement we can detect low level anomalies such as distributing weight unfavourably during post arthoplasty rehabilitation or detect very slow change in gait of daily walking routine which could be used as an early warning system for Alzheimer’s disease.

TuringSense, a wearable sports technology company, announced from the USPTA World Conference its official launch and development of its first product PIVOT, the most advanced wearable technology for tennis today. TuringSense is developing revolutionary wearable technologies using biomechanics, sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) to help athletes learn and master complex movements, avoid injuries and conquer the competition. Beyond sports, TuringSense's vision is to build the perfect companion for physical therapy, insurance compliance, rehabilitation, posture correction and virtual reality/augmented reality and gaming.

Device for Jaw Motion Disability Rehabilitation  
A Novel Wearable Assistive Device for Jaw Motion Disability  Rehabilitation  
A thesis by Xiaoyun Wang
A very detailed description of the wearable device in jaw exoskeleton jaw movement exoskeleton to assist the immobile jaw. The concept of a novel wearable assistive device has been proposed in this thesis, for the purpose of providing the forced movement to rehabilitate the disabled jaw movement from either neuromuscular or musculoskeltal causes, since the physical therapy has been advised to spread into the patient, owing to the distinctive efficacy.  The prototype of the jaw exoskeleton has been designed into a Mechatronic system with the integrated thinking. The device has been entirely modeled in SimMechanics/Simulink.

And, finally, two informative resources:

Wireless Sensor Networks for Rehabilitation Applications: Challenges and Opportunities
Abdelkrim Hadjidja, Marion Souila, Abdelmadjid Bouabdallaha, Yacine Challala, Henry Owenb
Discusses a lot of topics, including
  • Rehabilitation Supervision VS Healthcare Supervision
  • Sensors commonly employed in rehabilitation
  • Review of wireless sensor networks architectures for Rehabilitation

Patient Engagement Solutions for Physical Therapists and Rehabilitation Professionals

Presented by David Dansereau,MSPT of PTC Physical Therapy and
Target Audience: Physical Therapists and Rehab Professionals
  • The Changing Face of PT and care delivery models
  • New Challenges to Engage a New Patient Population
  • Why this specific patient population is ready for technology
  • How to Attract and Retain Healthier Patients
  • Why nutrition education should be included in EVERY Patient's HEP
  • How Emerging Technologies Can Fit Nicely in the PT's toolbox
  • Wearables,Sensors and how they can offer a solution to what your patients want to tell You!
  • PT's Future Role in Connected Health

22.11.2015, 15:32   MedGizmo
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