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:

Dr. Peter Rieckmann, Professor of Neurology, Center for Clinical Neuroplasticity, 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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Emerging Technologies for Rehabilitation

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. Approximately 17 million people worldwide and 34,000 people in Australia are living with CP. In clinical and kinematic research, goniometers and inclinometers are the most commonly used clinical tools to measure joint angles and positions in children with CP.

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Cancer Rehabilitation

Cancer rehabilitation is central for helping patients and relatives create a functional everyday life based on the changes in life conditions. The needs are highly individual and include physical, mental, and social challenges. Cancer rehabilitation programs offer coping strategies, including guidelines on how to handle emotions.

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Portable and Mobile Technologies for Rehabilitation

Ankle sprains are one of the most prevalent soft-tissue injuries worldwide. Physical therapy, especially progressive exercise, has proven effective in improving function, while preventing recurrence.

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Portable and Mobile Technologies for Rehabilitation

The need to attend a medically supervised hospital- or clinic-based appointment is a well-recognized barrier to exercise participation. The development of reliable and accurate home-based functional tests has the potential to decrease the burden on the health care system while enabling support, information, and assessment.

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Cognitive and Neurorehabilitation

Individuals with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) report fewer social contacts, less social participation, and more social isolation than noninjured peers. Cognitive-communication disabilities may prevent individuals with TBI from accessing the opportunities for social connection afforded by computer-mediated communication, as individuals with TBI report lower overall usage of social media than noninjured peers and substantial challenges with accessibility and usability. Although adaptations for individuals with motor and sensory impairments exist to support social media use, there have been no parallel advances to support individuals with cognitive disabilities, such as those exhibited by some people with TBI. In this study, we take a preliminary step in the development process by learning more about patterns of social media use in individuals with TBI as well as their input and priorities for developing social media adaptations.

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Telerehabilitation

A tele-rehabilitation platform was developed to improve access to ambulatory rehabilitation services in Hong Kong. The development was completed in October 2019 and rolled out for use to occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech therapists. During the COVID-19 pandemic, rehabilitation services were severely interrupted. Tele-rehabilitation was used extensively to meet the demand for rehabilitation service delivery.

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Portable and Mobile Technologies for Rehabilitation

Physical activity is beneficial for cardiovascular rehabilitation. Digitalization suggests using technology in the promotion of physical activity and lifestyle changes. The effectiveness of distance technology interventions has previously been found to be similar to that of conventional treatment, but the added value of the technology has not been frequently studied.

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Emerging Technologies for Rehabilitation

The design of digital technologies that support poststroke rehabilitation at home has been a topic of research for some time. If technology is to have a large-scale impact on rehabilitation practice, then we need to understand how to create technologies that are appropriate for the domestic environment and for the needs and motivations of those living there. This paper reflects on the research conducted in the Motivating Mobility project (UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council: EP/F00382X/1). We conducted sensitizing studies to develop a foundational understanding of the homes of stroke survivors, participatory design sessions situated in the home, and experimental deployments of prototype rehabilitation technologies. We identified four challenges specific to the homes of stroke survivors and relevant to the deployment of rehabilitation technologies: identifying a location for rehabilitation technology, negotiating social relationships present in the home, avoiding additional stress in households at risk of existential stress, and providing for patient safety. We conclude that skilled workers may be needed to enable successful technology deployment, systematizing the mapping of the home may be beneficial, and education is a viable focus for rehabilitation technologies.

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Augmentative and Alternative Communication

People with intellectual disabilities (IDs) face significant communication barriers when accessing health care services; they find it difficult to identify and describe conditions clearly enough to support practitioners in making an accurate diagnosis. In addition, medical professionals generally have little knowledge and understanding of the needs of people with ID, which may result in the use of consultation techniques that do not cater to their patients’ skills.

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Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

People with spinal cord injury (SCI) are less likely to be physically active and have higher chronic disease risk than those in the general population due to physical and metabolic changes that occur postinjury. Few studies have investigated approaches to promote increased physical activity (PA) for people with SCI despite evidence that they face unique barriers, including lack of accessible transportation and exercise equipment. To address these obstacles, we adapted an evidence-based phone-delivered intervention that promoted increased PA among people with SCI into a web-based platform, titled the Workout on Wheels internet intervention (WOWii). The adapted program provides participants with weekly skill-building information and activities, basic exercise equipment, and ongoing support through weekly group videoconferencing.

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Portable and Mobile Technologies for Rehabilitation

Children with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) or severe motor and intellectual disabilities (SMID) only communicate through movements, vocalizations, body postures, muscle tensions, or facial expressions on a pre- or protosymbolic level. Yet, to the best of our knowledge, there are few systems developed to specifically aid in categorizing and interpreting behaviors of children with PIMD or SMID to facilitate independent communication and mobility. Further, environmental data such as weather variables were found to have associations with human affects and behaviors among typically developing children; however, studies involving children with neurological functioning impairments that affect communication or those who have physical and/or motor disabilities are unexpectedly scarce.

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Emerging Technologies for Rehabilitation

Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death worldwide and result in significant economic costs to health care systems. The prevalence of cardiovascular conditions that require monitoring is expected to increase as the average age of the global population continues to rise. Although an accurate cardiac assessment can be performed at medical centers, frequent visits for assessment are not feasible for most people, especially those with limited mobility. Monitoring of vital signs at home is becoming an increasingly desirable, accessible, and practical alternative. As wearable devices are not the ideal solution for everyone, it is necessary to develop parallel and complementary approaches.

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