Each year, approximately 1 million people suffer a Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA) in Europe alone, making stroke on the biggest burdens to health and social care. Improving the quality and efficiency of rehabilitation programs is one of the fundamental strategies for a better and cost-effective healthcare system.
ARCADE proposes leveraging interactive and digital technologies to create context-aware workspaces to improve physical rehabilitation practices. The project explores the use of interactive rehabilitation equipment and context- aware environments that support both physiotherapists’ and patients’ activities.
Date: Jun 24, 2019
Authors: Hugo Nicolau, Daniel Simões Lopes, Joaquim Jorge, João Guerreiro, Inês Santos
Keywords: CVA, stroke, rehabilitation, interactive technologies
There are over 80 million stroke survivors globally, making it the main cause of long-term disability worldwide. Not only do the challenges associated with stroke affect the quality of life (QoL) of survivors, but also of their families. To explore these challenges and define design opportunities for technologies to improve the QoL of both stakeholders, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 10 survivors and one of their family members. We uncovered three major interlinked themes: strategies to cope with technological barriers, the (in)adequacy of assistive technologies, and limitations of the rehabilitation process. Findings highlight multiple design opportunities, including the need for: meaningful patient-centered tools and methods to improve rehabilitation effectiveness, emotion-aware computing for family emotional support, and re-thinking the nature of assistive technologies to consider the perception of transitory stroke-related disabilities. We thus argue for a new class of dual-purpose technologies that fit survivors’ abilities while promoting the regain of function.
In this preliminary study, we propose visual biofeedback techniques for representing compensatory movements that are commonly found in upper limb rehabilitation exercises. Here, visual biofeedback is represented by stick figures adorned with different graphical elements to highlight abnormal motor patterns. We explore 4 visual biofeedback techniques for analysing movements designed for neuromotor rehabilitation of the upper limb. Co-design sessions were conducted next to 5 rehabilitation professionals. The resulting visual designs were then evaluated by 3 other physiotherapists, each evaluated the visual biofeedback of two types of compensatory movements: arm elevation-flexion and cephalic tilt. Results indicate that although there is a preferred technique, participants suggested to design a novel representation that should incorporate features from different sources, thus designing a hybrid visual biofeedback technique.