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Rehabilitation

Fraunhofer's telerehabilitation system in use

Generally speaking, people tend to dislike doing the exercises that are part of physiotherapy. Not helping matters is the fact that in many cases, patients must travel to a clinic to perform those exercises under the supervision of a trained professional. Now, researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS are developing a “telerehabilitation” system that allows patients to perform exercises at home or when out and about, while still receiving feedback from a physiotherapist.  Read More

The Walkbot can be used to rehabilitate patients recovering from stroke, spinal cord injur...

After suffering a stroke or spinal cord injury, a patient regaining their ability to walk typically requires three to five physical therapists supporting them while physically moving their limbs. This is not only physically exhausting, but leaves therapists at risk of personal injury. Now, the leading health care facilities in Korea have adopted a rehab robot that only requires one therapist – the Walkbot combines an adjustable lower-body robotic exoskeleton that moves a patient's legs in time with a treadmill.  Read More

Zac Vawter prepares for 'SkyRise Chicago', a fundraiser for the Rehabilitation Institute o...

Despite losing most of his right leg in a motorcycle accident, Zac Vawter (31) intends to climb all 103 flights of stairs at Chicago's Willis Tower this Sunday. He's been helping researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) test a cutting-edge bionic leg that is controlled by his own nerve impulses. He can walk, kick a ball, and climb stairs by simply thinking of what he wants his leg to do.  Read More

Muscle Actuator Motor Company unveiled two robotic patient care devices at the 39th Home C...

Japan's super-aging society may be able to live a little longer at home thanks to a couple of new robotic devices introduced last week. The new robot lifter and bodily waste removal systems were demonstrated at Japan's 39th Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition. Designed to provide relief for stressed caregivers, the devices will be available to rent to private residences on a monthly basis.  Read More

A robotic exoskeleton that can read thoughts and anticipate the user's actions could find ...

A collaboration between Rice University, the University of Houston and TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital has led to MAHI-EXO II, a sophisticated exoskeleton that could help stroke victims regain movement in the arms by reading the patients' intended actions and nudging them along when needed. The robot wraps the arm from the fingertips to the elbow and uses a non-invasive EEG interface to anticipate gestures and help patients build up strength and accuracy over time.  Read More

Wake Forest's muscle-implant-stretching machine

We all know that you need to exercise if you want to develop your muscles. As it turns out, however, exercise also makes lab-grown muscle implants more effective when introduced to the body. Scientists from North Carolina’s Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have discovered that after being gently expanded and contracted, implants placed in lab animals were better able to stimulate new muscle growth than implants that were left “unexercised.”  Read More

Gyroboards adjusts for all experience levels

Hailing from New Zealand, "land of the extreme," the Gyroboard is a balance board for general exercise and off-season training that appears to have the potential to become a fun hobby on its own. Gyro Enterprises, the brains and bills behind the device, says that it helps your core strength, balance and coordination. It can be used for injury rehabilitation, sports training, fitness, etc. The board simulates the movements of board sports like skateboarding and snowboarding, so it's a good way to practice in the comforts of your own backyard or home.  Read More

The ArmAssist system is designed to help stroke victims regain the use of their arms by pl...

This April, researchers from Montreal's McGill University announced the development of their prototype Biomedical Sensor Glove. Stroke victims who have lost the use of their hand are intended the wear the glove, then use it at home to play custom video games on an attached computer. Not only do those games help them regain the use of their hand, but the computer also sends data regarding their gaming performance on to their physician, so they can track the patient's progress remotely. Well, it seems that Spanish researchers have now developed a similar system for the rehabilitation of paralyzed arms, called ArmAssist.  Read More

AnatOnMe project from Microsoft Research in use (All images courtesy of Amy K. Karlson, Da...

Having undergone some physical therapy myself, I can confirm that even though keeping to a prescribed exercise and treatment regimen helps the injury heal faster, the daunting prospect of self-administered discomfort has led me to ignore the advice of my practitioner. A team at Microsoft's research wing has developed a working prototype of a system that may help to encourage physical injury sufferers to do their exercises by giving them a clearer understanding of what's going on. A therapist would use the device to project a series of graphics of underlying bone, muscle tissue, tendons or nerves directly onto the body of a patient to help explain the nature of the injury and prescribe effective treatment. The device can also take photos during a consultation, which can be subsequently reviewed or printed out as a memory aid for the patient.  Read More

McGill University Biomedical Sensor Glove (Photo: McGill University/Laurie Devine)

When the use of a hand is lost due to a stroke, it’s important to get that paralyzed hand moving again – this allows the brain and the body to “relearn” how to use it. A new approach to this problem has emerged in recent years with the development of powered devices like the Amadeo or the Rehabilitation Glove that enable patients to exercise passively until they recover sufficiently to start moving on their own. Now four students from Montreal’s McGill University have created a prototype stroke recovery glove that would cost relatively little to produce, and that patients can use at home through a video game interface.  Read More

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