JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies

Development and evaluation of rehabilitation, physiotherapy and assistive technologies, robotics, prosthetics and implants, mobility and communication tools, home automation, and telerehabilitation

Editor-in-Chief:

Peter Rieckmann, MD, FAAN, FEAN, FRCPC - Director, Center for Clinical Neuroplasticity, Medical Park Loipl-Bischofswiesen & Professor of Neurology at Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremburg, Germany


JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies is a PubMed-indexed journal that focuses on the development and evaluation of rehabilitation and assistive technologies, including assistive living.

As an open access journal, JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies is read by both clinicians and patients. The journal fosuses on readable and applied science that reports the design and evaluation of health innovations and emerging technologies. It publishes original research, viewpoints, and reviews (both literature reviews and medical device/technology/app reviews). Articles are carefully copyedited and XML-tagged, ready for submission to PubMed Central.

Recent Articles

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Assistive Technologies

User experience (UX), including usability, should be formally assessed multiple times throughout the development process to optimize the acceptability and integration of a new technology before implementing it within the home environment of people living with cognitive impairments.

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Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Heart rate (HR) is an important and commonly measured physiological parameter in wearables. HR is often measured at the wrist with the photoplethysmography (PPG) technique, which determines HR based on blood volume changes, and is therefore influenced by blood pressure. In individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI), blood pressure control is often altered and could therefore influence HR accuracy measured by the PPG technique.

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Speech-Language Therapy

Speech and language therapy involves the identification, assessment, and treatment of children and adults who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking, and swallowing. Globally, pressing needs outstrip the availability of qualified practitioners who, of necessity, focus on individuals with advanced needs. The potential of voice-assisted technology (VAT) to assist people with speech impairments is an emerging area of research but empirical work exploring its professional adoption is limited.

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Assistive Technologies

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive paresis of the extremities and the loss of manual functioning. Due to the severe functional impairment that the disease entails, ALS requires the provision of comprehensive nursing care and a complex set of assistive technology devices. To relieve caregivers and promote autonomy of people with ALS, robotic assistance systems are being developed. This trial aims to evaluate the acceptance of technology, in general, and of robotic arm assistance among people with ALS in order to lay the groundwork for the development of a semiautomatic robotic arm that can be controlled by humans via a multimodal user interface and that will allow users to handle objects and attend to their own bodies.

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Portable and Mobile Technologies for Rehabilitation

Adherence to prescribed medical interventions can predict the efficacy of the treatment. In physical health clinics, not adhering to prescribed therapy can take the form of not attending a scheduled clinic visit (no-show appointment) or prematurely terminating treatment against the advice of the provider (self-discharge). A variety of interventions, including mobile phone apps, have been introduced for patients to increase their adherence to attending scheduled clinic visits. Limited research has examined the impact of a mobile phone app among patients attending chiropractic and rehabilitation clinic visits.

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Back Pain

Low back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of worldwide years lost because of disability, with a tremendous economic burden for health care systems. Digital therapeutic care (DTC) programs provide a scalable, universally accessible, and low-cost approach to the multidisciplinary treatment of LBP. Moreover, novel decision support interventions such as personalized feedback messages, push notifications, and data-driven activity recommendations amplify DTC by guiding the user through the program while aiming to increase overall engagement and sustainable behavior change.

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Assistive Technologies

Goal setting is a key part of the rehabilitation process. The use of technology and electronic tools such as smartphone apps and websites has been suggested as a way of improving the engagement of users in meaningful goal setting and facilitating shared decision-making between patients and health professionals.

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Emerging Technologies for Rehabilitation

Persons with severe or profound intellectual disability and visual impairment tend to be passive and sedentary, and technology-aided intervention may be required to improve their condition without excessive demands on staff time.

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Assistive Technologies

With the projected upsurge in the percentage of people with some form of disability, there has been a significant increase in the need for assistive mobility devices. However, for mobility aids to be effective, such devices should be adapted to the user’s needs. This can be achieved by improving the confidence of the acquired information (interaction between the user, the environment, and the device) following design specifications. Therefore, there is a need for literature review on the adaptability of assistive mobility devices.

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Emerging Technologies for Rehabilitation

Accurately measuring postural sway is an important part of balance assessment and rehabilitation. Although force plates give accurate measurements, their costs and space requirements make their use impractical in many situations.

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Cognitive and Neurorehabilitation

Immersive technologies like virtual reality can enable clinical care that meaningfully aligns with real-world deficits in cognitive functioning. However, options in immersive 3D environments are limited, partly because of the unique challenges presented by the development of a clinical care platform. These challenges include selecting clinically relevant features, enabling tasks that capture the full breadth of deficits, ensuring longevity in a rapidly changing technology landscape, and performing the extensive technical and clinical validation required for digital interventions. Complicating development, is the need to integrate recommendations from domain experts at all stages.

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Innovations in Exercise Rehabilitation

Digital development has caused rehabilitation services and rehabilitees to become increasingly interested in using technology as a part of rehabilitation. This study was based on a previously published study that categorized 4 groups of patients with cardiac disease based on different experiences and attitudes toward technology (e-usage groups): feeling outsider, being uninterested, reflecting benefit, and enthusiastic using.

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