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.
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.
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, telerehabilitation (TR) has been expanding to address the challenges and risks of in-person delivery. It is likely that a level of TR delivery will continue after the pandemic because of its advantages, such as reducing geographical barriers to service. Many pandemic-related TR initiatives were put in place quickly. Therefore, we have little understanding of current TR delivery, barriers and facilitators, and how therapists anticipate integrating TR into current practice. Knowing this information will allow the incorporation of competencies specifically related to the use and provision of TR into professional profiles and entry-to-practice education, thereby promoting high-quality TR care.
Pulmonary diseases represent a great cause of disability and mortality in the world, and given the progression of these pathologies, pulmonary rehabilitation programs have proven to be effective for people with chronic respiratory diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telerehabilitation has become an alternative for patients with such diseases.
A critical gap in our knowledge about social media is whether we can alleviate accessibility barriers and challenges for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), to improve their social participation and health. To do this, we need real-time information about these barriers and challenges, to design appropriate aids.
This is a viewpoint paper that aims to describe the systematic approach to the development of a technology-driven stroke rehabilitation innovation to manage disabilities following a stroke at home in India. This paper intends to sensitize public health innovators and intervention development experts about the important aspects that need to be considered to develop a culturally sensitive, patient-centered, scalable solution for stroke care using technology. Stroke has been the second-leading cause of death and the third-leading cause of disability globally for the past 3 decades. The emerging technological innovations for stroke care were predominantly designed and developed by digital technology experts as stand-alone products with very minimal efforts to explore their feasibility, acceptability, and, more importantly, scalability. Hence, a digital therapeutic rehabilitation innovation for people with stroke-related disabilities in India was systematically developed and is being evaluated. ReWin is an innovation that is technologically driven and envisions digital therapeutics as a medium for the provision of rehabilitation to persons with disabilities. It is conceptualized and developed based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. ReWin encompasses specific technological aspects to enable its scientific framework and conceptualization to suit the context and needs of stroke care providers and consumers. The framework is built with 2 separate applications, one for the providers and one for the patients and caregivers. Each of these applications has a specific inbuilt design to add data about the demographic details of the user, stroke severity using the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, and self-assessment of disability measured by the modified Barthel Index. Users can communicate with each other and decide on their therapeutic goals, therapy training information, and progress remotely from where they are. The ultimate outcome expected from the ReWin innovation is a continuum of care for stroke survivors that is effective, safe, and of good quality. Systematic development cannot make the intervention scalable. The intervention needs to be evaluated for its feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness. Currently, ReWin is being evaluated for its feasibility and acceptability. The evaluation of ReWin will provide an opportunity to develop a scalable solution for empowering therapists and persons with disabilities, in general, to objectively self-manage their treatment. Findings from this study will also provide valuable information about the resources required to deliver such interventions in resource-constrained settings like India.
During spring and summer 2020, US states implemented COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, resulting in the closure of rehabilitation facilities and, with them, some of the clinical trials that were taking place. One such trial was the Supervised Versus Telerehabilitation Exercise Program for Multiple Sclerosis (“STEP for MS”) comparative effectiveness multiple sclerosis (MS) exercise trial. Although 1 study arm was implemented via telerehabilitation, the comparative arm took place in rehabilitation facilities nationwide and was subsequently closed during this time frame. The experience of the STEP for MS participants provides insights into the impact of lockdown restrictions on exercise behavior by mode of exercise delivery (telerehabilitation vs conventional facility based).