JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies
Editor-in-Chief: Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH, FACMI
Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH, FACMI
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.
Older adults and people with dementia are particularly vulnerable to social isolation. Social robots, including robotic pets, are promising technological interventions that can benefit the psychosocial health of older adults and people with dementia. However, issues such as high costs can lead to a lack of equal access and concerns about infection control. Although there are previous reviews on the use of robotic pets for older adults and people with dementia, none have included or had a focus on low-cost and familiarly and realistically designed pet robots.
Health-enabling technologies (HETs) are information and communication technologies that promote individual health and well-being. An important application of HETs is telerehabilitation for patients with musculoskeletal shoulder disorders. Currently, there is no overview of HETs that assist patients with musculoskeletal shoulder disorders when exercising at home.
Implementing exercises in the form of video games, otherwise known as exergaming, has gained recent attention as a way to combat health issues resulting from sedentary lifestyles. However, these exergaming apps have not been developed for exercises that can be performed in wheelchairs, and they tend to rely on whole-body movements.
The therapeutic alliance between patients and physical therapists has been shown to influence clinical outcomes in patients with chronic low back pain when consulting in-person. However, no studies have examined whether the therapeutic alliance developed between patients with knee osteoarthritis and physical therapists during telephonic consultations influences clinical outcomes.
Falls have implications for the health of older adults. Strength and balance interventions significantly reduce the risk of falls; however, patients seldom perform the dose of exercise that is required based on evidence. Health professionals play an important role in supporting older adults as they perform and progress in their exercises. Teleconferencing could enable health professionals to support patients more frequently, which is important in exercise behavior.
Isolation due to a COVID-19 infection can limit activities and cause physical and mental decline, especially in older adults and people with disabilities. However, due to limited contact, adequate rehabilitation is difficult to provide for quarantined patients. Telerehabilitation technology could be a solution; however, issues specific to COVID-19 should be taken into consideration, such as strict quarantine and respiratory symptoms, as well as accessibility to deal with rapid increases in need due to the pandemic.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a highly prevalent and debilitating condition. Exercise is a recommended treatment because of its effectiveness at improving pain and function. However, exercise is underutilized in OA management. Difficulty accessing health care has been identified as a key barrier to exercise uptake. Innovative and scalable methods of delivering exercise treatments to people with knee OA are needed. We developed a self-directed eHealth intervention to enable and encourage exercise participation. The effectiveness of this intervention on pain and function in people with knee OA is being evaluated in a randomized clinical trial.
In the field of pain, virtual reality (VR) technology has been increasingly common in the context of procedural pain management. As an interactive technology tool, VR has the potential to be extended beyond acute pain management to chronic pain rehabilitation with a focus on increasing engagement with painful or avoided movements.
The prosthetic and orthotic industry typically provides an artisan “hands-on” approach to the assessment and fitting of orthopedic devices. Despite growing interest in digital technology for prosthetic and orthotic service provision, little is known of the quantum of use and the extent to which the current pandemic has accelerated the adoption.
The home environment is an important means of support in home-based care services for older people. A home environment that facilitates healthy aging can help older adults maximize their self-care abilities and integrate and utilize care resources. However, some home environments fail to meet the needs of older adults with disabilities.
Advanced sensor, measurement, and analytics technologies are enabling entirely new ways to deliver health care. The increased availability of digital data can be used for data-driven personalization of care. Data-driven personalization can complement expert-driven personalization by providing support for decision making or even by automating some parts of decision making in relation to the care process.
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