Importance of the Problem

This RERC will promote rehabilitation engineering-based devices, strategies, techniques and interventions that can facilitate activity and mobility following neurologic injuries. The ultimate goal is improved integration of impaired limbs into functional activities in the home and community. However, treatment and assessments are done predominantly in the clinic by therapists. Home-based technologies can have a large impact by providing tools to augment clinic-based delivery with assessments that are more valid and treatments that are less expensive, more convenient and potentially more effective.

Our Overarching Goal

Translate technological advances in rehabilitation engineering from the lab and clinic to the home. In the past few decades, we have seen a boom in the development of rehabilitation technologies to monitor and treat neurological conditions. This pioneering body of work led to the identification of several critical principles related to the efficacious use of engineering technologies in home-based rehabilitation, including the importance of (1) patient-centered methodological design, (2) patient motivation to engage with rehabilitation, (3) the role of sensorimotor feedback in rehabilitation, and (4) accurate spontaneous activity assessment based on robust computational methods (i.e., machine learning). We aim to address these four aspects of rehabilitation engineering research in this proposal through 3 Research projects (R1, R2, R3) and 3 Development projects (D1, D2, D3) that are linked together in multiple ways.