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: 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.
Low back pain (LBP) is a highly prevalent condition affecting individuals of all ages. To manage the symptoms and prevent recurrences and flare-ups, physical activity in conjunction with self-management education is recommended. Tools such as diaries and questionnaires have been the gold standard for tracking physical activity in clinical studies. However, there are issues with consistency, accuracy, and recall with the use of these outcome measures. Given the growth of technology in today’s society, consumer-grade activity monitors have become a common and convenient method of recording physical activity data.
Current guidelines recommend supervised exercise training (SET) as a first-line treatment in patients with intermittent claudication (IC). SET has been shown to be more effective than home-based exercise therapy (HBET). However, the lack of available SET programs hampers broad SET implementation in clinical practice.
The global rise in the incidence of chronic conditions and aging is associated with increased disability. Physiotherapists and occupational therapists can mitigate the resulting burden on the health care system with their expertise in optimizing function. Rehabilitation self-management strategies can assist people with chronic conditions to accept, adjust, and manage different aspects of their daily functioning. Interventions delivered using technology have the potential to increase the accessibility, availability, and affordability of rehabilitation self-management support and services.
Technologies allowing home-based rehabilitation may be a key means of saving financial resources while also facilitating people’s access to treatment. After cochlear implantation, auditory training is necessary for the brain to adapt to new auditory signals transmitted by the cochlear implant (CI). To date, auditory training is conducted in a face-to-face setting at a specialized center. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on health care, the need for new therapeutic settings has intensified.
Speech problems are common in people living with Parkinson disease (PD), limiting communication and ultimately affecting their quality of life. Voice-assisted technology in health and care settings has shown some potential in small-scale studies to address such problems, with a retrospective analysis of user reviews reporting anecdotal communication effects and promising usability features when using this technology for people with a range of disabilities. However, there is a need for research to establish users’ perspectives on the potential contribution of voice-assisted technology for people with PD.
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.
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