Source: Google Scholar

Design, construction and validation of a portable care system for the daily telerehabiliatation of gait

D Giansanti, S Morelli, G Maccioni, M Brocco (2014)

When designing a complete system of daily-telerehabilitation it should be borne in mind that properly designed methodologies should be furnished for patients to execute specific motion tasks and for care givers to assess the relevant parameters. Whether in hospital or at home, the system should feature two basic elements: (a) instrumented and walking aids or supports, (b) equipment for the assessment of parameters. Being gait the focus, the idea was to design, construct and validate – as an alternative to the complex and expensive instruments currently used – a simple, portable kit that may be easily interfaced/integrated with the most common mechanical tools used in motion rehabilitation (instrumented walkways, aids, supports), with feedback to both patient for self-monitoring and trainer/therapist (present or remote) for clinical reporting. The proposed system consists of: one step-counter, three couples of photo-emitter detectors, one central unit for collecting and processing the telemetrically transmitted data; a software interface on a dedicated PC and a network adapter. The system has been successfully validated in a clinical application on two groups of 16 subjects at the 1st and 2nd level of the Tinetti test. The degree of acceptance by subjects and care-givers was high. The system was also successfully compared with an Inertial Measurement Unit, a de facto standard. The portable kit can be used with different rehabilitation tools and different ground rugosity. The advantages are: (a) very low costs when compared with optoelectronic solutions and other portable solutions; (b) very high accuracy, also for subjects with imbalance problems; (c) good compatibility with any rehabilitative tool.

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