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:

Sarah Munce, MSc, PhD, University of Toronto, Canada


JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies (Editor in Chief: Sarah Munce, PhD) is a PubMed/PubMed CentralSCOPUS, DOAJ, Sherpa/Romeo and EBSCO/EBSCO Essentials indexed journal that focuses on readable and applied science that reports on the development, implementation, and evaluation of health innovations and emerging technologies in the field of rehabilitation.

Recent Articles

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Telerehabilitation

Digital interventions provided through smartphones or the internet that are guided by a coach have been proposed as promising solutions to support the self-management of chronic conditions. However, digital intervention for poststroke self-management is limited; we developed the interactive Self-Management Augmented by Rehabilitation Technologies (iSMART) intervention to address this gap.

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Telerehabilitation

Youth (age 15-24 years) with and without disability are not adequately represented enough in exercise research due to a lack of time and transportation. These barriers can be overcome by including accessible web-based assessments that eliminate the need for on-site visitations. There is no simple, low-cost, and psychometrically sound compilation of measures for physical fitness and function that can be applied to youth with and without mobility disabilities.

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Use and Perceptions of Technology in Everyday Life and for Rehabilitation

Musculoskeletal pain is a prevalent concern among diverse populations, from the average individual to the elite athlete. Handheld percussive massage therapy devices like massage guns have gained much popularity in both medical and athletic settings. Its application has been prominently recognized in injury prevention and rehabilitation. The expansion of the market to provide handheld percussive therapy devices with varying features and price points has encouraged professional and novice use. While percussive therapy holds similarities to more studied therapeutic modalities, like vibration therapy and soft tissue mobilization, there is limited evidence-based information on the indications and contraindications.

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Disabilities

Transosseous distraction osteosynthesis is prioritized in orthopedic care for children with achondroplasia. However, difficulties encountered during treatment and rehabilitation directly impact patients’ quality of life. Using rod external fixators within a semicircular frame for osteosynthesis is less traumatic compared to spoke circular devices. Their straightforward assembly and mounting on the limb segment can help significantly reduce treatment duration, thereby improving children’s quality of life during treatment and rehabilitation.

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Disabilities

Bracing is an essential part of scoliosis treatment. The standard of brace treatment for patients with scoliosis today is still very variable in terms of brace quality and outcome. The Gensingen brace is a further developed Chêneau brace derivative with individual design, which can be adapted through computer-aided design.

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Robotics in Rehabilitation

As many as 60% of individuals use a wheelchair long term after a spinal cord injury (SCI). This mode of locomotion leads to chronic decline in lower-extremity weight-bearing activities and contributes to the development of severe sublesional osteoporosis and high rates of fragility fracture. Overground exoskeleton-assisted walking programs provide a novel opportunity to increase lower-extremity weight bearing, with the potential to improve bone health.

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Assistive Technologies

Promoting the well-being of older adults in an aging society requires new solutions. One resource might be the use of social robots for group activities that promote physical and cognitive stimulation. Engaging in a robot-assisted group activity may help in the slowdown of physical and cognitive decline in older adults. Currently, our knowledge is limited on whether older adults engage in group activities with humanlike social robots and whether they experience a positive affect while doing so. Both are necessary preconditions to achieve the intended effects of a group activity.

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Disabilities

While self-management programs have had significant improvements for individuals with chronic conditions, less is known about the impact of self-management programs for individuals with physical disabilities who experience chronic conditions, as no holistic self-management programs exist for this population. Similarly, there is limited knowledge of how other stakeholders, such as caregivers, health experts, and researchers, view self-management programs in the context of disability, chronic health conditions, and assistive technologies.

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Cognitive and Neurorehabilitation

Rehabilitation technologies for people with stroke are rapidly evolving. These technologies have the potential to support higher volumes of rehabilitation to improve outcomes for people with stroke. Despite growing evidence of their efficacy, there is a lack of uptake and sustained use in stroke rehabilitation and a call for user-centered design approaches during technology design and development. This study focuses on a novel rehabilitation technology called exciteBCI, a complex neuromodulatory wearable technology in the prototype stage that augments locomotor rehabilitation for people with stroke. The exciteBCI consists of a brain computer interface, a muscle electrical stimulator, and a mobile app.

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Innovations in Exercise Rehabilitation

Upper limb motor paresis is a major symptom of stroke, which limits activities of daily living and compromises the quality of life. Kinematic analysis offers an in-depth and objective means to evaluate poststroke upper limb paresis, with anticipation for its effective application in clinical settings.

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Telerehabilitation

Aphasia is a communication disorder affecting more than one-third of stroke survivors. Computerized Speech and Language Therapy (CSLT) is a complex intervention requiring computer software, speech and language therapists, volunteers, or therapy assistants, as well as self-managed practice from the person with aphasia. CSLT was found to improve word finding, a common symptom of aphasia, in a multicenter randomized controlled trial (Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Computer Treatment for Aphasia Post Stroke [Big CACTUS]).

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Portable and Mobile Technologies for Rehabilitation

Building up physical activity is a highly important aspect in an older patient’s rehabilitation process after hip fracture surgery. The patterns of physical activity during rehabilitation are associated with the duration of rehabilitation stay. Predicting physical activity patterns early in the rehabilitation phase can provide patients and health care professionals an early indication of the duration of rehabilitation stay as well as insight into the degree of patients’ recovery for timely adaptive interventions.

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