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
Tiffany Leung, MD, MPH, FACP, FAMIA, FEFIM (Acting)
Tiffany Leung, MD, MPH, FACP, FAMIA, FEFIM (Acting)
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.
Electronic knowledge resources are readily available and typically target different audiences, including health professionals and the public, that is, those with lived experience and their relatives. The knowledge-to-action framework, in combination with the information assessment method (IAM), considering both the value-of-information construct and the conceptual model of acquisition-cognition-application, can be used to support the evaluation process of such resources. As an example, Stroke Engine is an evidence-based knowledge translation resource in stroke rehabilitation (assessments and interventions) for health professionals and students as well as individuals who have sustained a stroke and their relatives. According to Google Analytics, the website is perused >10,000 times per week.
Female genital mutilation is considered a crime but is still practiced today in Africa and the Middle East, despite all the laws that make this procedure illegal due to the long-term physical and psychological harm it causes to women. Millions of girls and women living today have undergone genital mutilation, which involves removing the external female genitalia either partially or totally, based on the belief that it restricts feminine sexuality, thereby “saving” a girl for marriage. For girls and women, the surgery offers no health advantages. Girls’ right to control critical decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health is violated because genital mutilation is frequently done against their will and frequently without their consent, leading to lifelong psychic trauma in addition to sexual dysfunction and lack of satisfaction due to distortion of the genitalia that threatens marital stability.
The number of wearable technological devices or sensors that are commercially available for gait training is increasing. These devices can fill a gap by extending therapy outside the clinical setting. This was shown to be important during the COVID-19 pandemic when people could not access one-on-one treatment. These devices vary widely in terms of mechanisms of therapeutic effect, as well as targeted gait parameters, availability, and strength of the evidence supporting the claims.
There is a lack of resources for the provision of adequate rehabilitation after a stroke, thus creating a challenge to provide the necessary high-quality, patient-centered, and cost-efficient rehabilitation services at a time when they are needed the most. Tablet-based therapeutic programs present an alternative way to access rehabilitation services and show a new paradigm for providing therapeutic interventions following a stroke anytime and anywhere. The digital assistant Vigo is an artificial intelligence–based app that provides an opportunity for a new, more integrative way of carrying out a home-based rehabilitation program. Considering the complexity of the stroke recovery process, factors such as a suitable population, appropriate timing, setting, and the necessary patient-specialist support structure need to be thoroughly researched. There is a lack of qualitative research exploring the perspectives of professionals working in neurorehabilitation of the content and usability of the digital tool for the recovery of patients after a stroke.
A significant number of patients do not adhere to their prescribed course of physical therapy or discharge themselves from care. Adhering to prescribed physical therapy, including attending physical therapy clinic appointments, contributes to patients achieving the goals of therapy including reducing pain and increasing functionality. Web-based platforms have been demonstrated to be effective means for managing clinical patients with musculoskeletal pain, similar to managing them in person. Behavior change techniques introduced through digital or web-based platforms can reduce nonadherence with prescribed physical therapy and improve patient outcomes. Literature also indicates that a phone-based app provided to patients, which includes a reward-incentive gamification to complement their care, contributed to a greater number of kept appointments in a physical therapy clinic.
Knowledge on physical activity recovery after COVID-19 survival is limited. The AFTER (App-Facilitated Tele-Rehabilitation) program for COVID-19 survivors randomized participants, following hospital discharge, to either education and unstructured physical activity or a telerehabilitation program. Step count data were collected as a secondary outcome, and we found no significant differences in total step count trajectories between groups at 6 weeks. Further step count data were not analyzed.
Resource-rich countries are facing the challenge of aging societies, a high risk of dependence, and a high cost of care. Researchers attempted to address these issues by using cost-efficient, innovative technology to promote healthy aging and regain functionality. After an injury, efficient rehabilitation is crucial to promote returning home and prevent institutionalization. However, there is often a lack of motivation to carry out physical therapies. Consequently, there is a growing interest in testing new approaches like gamified physical rehabilitation to achieve functional targets and prevent rehospitalization.