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
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.
The spread of COVID-19 has affected stroke rehabilitation. Given that inpatient visits are restricted in most institutions, alternative ways of providing information to family members are imperative. Informing families about patients’ rehabilitation progress via the web may help involve families in the rehabilitation process, enhance patients’ motivation to continue rehabilitation, and contribute overall to patients’ improvement in activities of daily living (ADL).
In Canada, stroke survivors have difficulty accessing community-based rehabilitation services because of a lack of resources. VirTele, a personalized remote rehabilitation program combining virtual reality exergames and telerehabilitation, was developed to provide stroke survivors an opportunity to pursue rehabilitation of their chronic upper extremity (UE) deficits at home while receiving ongoing follow-up from a clinician.
Emerging evidence suggests that worldwide, between 30% and 50% of those who are infected with COVID-19 experience long COVID (LC) symptoms. These symptoms create challenges with return-to-work (RTW) in a high proportion of individuals with LC. To tailor rehabilitation programs to LC sequelae and help improve RTW outcomes, more research on LC rehabilitation program outcomes is needed.
Balance rehabilitation programs represent the most common treatments for balance disorders. Nonetheless, lack of resources and lack of highly expert physiotherapists are barriers for patients to undergo individualized rehabilitation sessions. Therefore, balance rehabilitation programs are often transferred to the home environment, with a considerable risk of the patient misperforming the exercises or failing to follow the program at all. Holobalance is a persuasive coaching system with the capacity to offer full-scale rehabilitation services at home. Holobalance involves several modules, from rehabilitation program management to augmented reality coach presentation.
Although robotic manipulators have great potential in promoting motor independence of people with motor impairments, only few systems are currently commercially available. In addition to technical, economic, and normative barriers, a key challenge for their distribution is the current lack of evidence regarding their usefulness, acceptance, and user-specific requirements.
Rehabilitation provided via telehealth offers an alternative to currently limited in-person health care. Effective rehabilitation depends on accurate and relevant assessments that reliably measure changes in function over time. The reliability of a suite of relevant assessments to measure the impact of rehabilitation on physical function is unknown.
Between 30% to 76% of COVID-19 patients have persistent physical and mental symptoms, sometimes up to 9 months after acute COVID-19. Current rehabilitation is mostly focused on the physical symptoms, whereas experts have agreed on the need for a biopsychosocial approach. A novel approach such as virtual reality (VR) rehabilitation at home might benefit patients and therapists, especially considering the expected rush of patients with post–COVID-19 condition needing rehabilitation.
Approximately 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia. Social robots have been developed and tested to determine whether they improve the quality of life for persons with dementia. A new mobile social robot called LOVOT has artificial intelligence and sensor technologies built in. LOVOT, which is manufactured in Japan, has not yet been tested for use by persons with dementia.
Noninvasive ventilation has been demonstrated to benefit people who have moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease during acute exacerbations. Studies have begun to investigate the effectiveness of noninvasive ventilation during pulmonary rehabilitation to improve outcomes for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; however, the lack of portability and humidification of these devices means their use is limited, especially when performing activities of daily living. A new prototype device, RACer-PAP (rest-activity cycler-positive airways pressure), delivers battery-operated positive airway pressure via a nasal interface while regulating nasal airway apportionment bias, removing the need for supplementary humidification. This device may offer people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease an improved ability to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation and activities of daily living.
The number of mobile health (mHealth) apps released for musculoskeletal (MSK) injury treatment and self-management with home exercise programs (HEPs) has risen rapidly in recent years as digital health interventions are explored and researched in more detail. As this number grows, it is becoming increasingly difficult for users to navigate the market and select the most appropriate app for their use case. It is also unclear what features the developers of these apps are harnessing to support patient self-management and how they fit into clinical care pathways.
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