Technology-supported innovative rehabilitation
The rapid development of technology and computer science has changed our environment and our way of life enormously over the last decades. However, currently, the use and implementation of new technologies to assist and improve physiotherapy and the rehabilitation process is still in its early stages. The technology that is, or can be used, in rehabilitation can be divided into three categories: i) high tech devices whose price and complexity of use limit their use in specialized centres (i.e., robotic treadmill), ii) devices that can be used by the clinicians in their daily practice (i.e., serious games exercises with virtual reality headset), and iii) systems and solutions that can be used by the patients alone at-home (i.e., mobile health applications, feedback during rehabilitation exercises). At the moment, most of the research centres focus their works on one particular category of technology. While this can be easily understood from a research perspective, this compartmentalization made the translation between the research and clinics rather weak. In particular it does not allow a full integration of these solutions into the conventional rehabilitation pipeline and the synchronization between the different techniques available, or under development, is rather limited. These two aspects mean that, at present, the technology is far from being used to its full potential in the rehabilitation. Another great potential of using technology to support rehabilitation is that different measurements can be taken while patients are performing the rehabilitation, either in the clinic or at home. These set of measurements can be used as innovative outcomes to validate the use of new technologies or drugs and could also be used to monitor the evolution of the patients during the rehabilitation process and adapt the plan according to the real needs and specificities of the patients. Therefore, the aim of this Scientific Research Network is to create a strong network of excellence dedicated to the development and promotion of innovative technology-supported rehabilitation solutions. The main objective is to bring the network as a key player in this field and to increase the quality of the research and the care in Flanders.
Period of project
01 January 2022 - 31 December 2026