The digital revolution is upon us, catapulted by the COVID-19. When forced to isolate in our homes at the height of the pandemic, digital technology connected us to our businesses, schools, health care providers, and each other. Mobile rehabilitation or “mRehab” is taking the concept of using digital technologies to remotely deliver rehabilitation services to patients with disabilities in their homes and the community.
In the latest episode of MossRehab Conversations, Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD, director of the Brain Injury Neuropsychology Laboratory at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI) talks with Mike Jones, PhD, FACRM, the vice president of Clinical Research and Assistive Technology at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta about the evolving field of Mrehab. Dr. Rabinowitz is working with a team of collaborators, including Dr. Jones, on a research program funded by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) to improve information and communication technology (ICT) access for mobile rehabilitation, otherwise known as mRehab.
In the discussion, Dr. Jones points out that many patients, especially those with disabilities, face transportation and financial challenges that limit their access to care at the clinic. Clinicians also must rely on patient reports to monitor home activity between visits who typically do not engage in the same level as in the clinic.
Bundling information and communication technologies, mRehab provides the tools to engage patients in rehabilitation practices at home while offering the capability to monitor patient activity so therapists can adjust treatments between outpatient visits. For example, as patients work on instrumented exercise equipment, clinicians get feedback on performance that they can use to change program parameters based on patient progress. The use of machine learning and artificial intelligence analyzes the large volumes of patient data to identify trends and triggers to automatically alert clinicians in a change of status in the home.
Dr. Rabinowitz explains that in her research of patients with traumatic brain injury, rehab is frontloaded while chronic conditions of the brain can continue for years. MRehab can help fill in the gaps as patients transition from inpatient to outpatient treatment. Dr. Jones adds that Mrehab helps supplement rehab visits to maximize health benefits and continue rehab over longer periods.
Currently, collaborators are discussing best approaches and technology for mRehab. The long-term goal of the program is demonstrating mRehab viability in the clinic for acceptance by different members of the healthcare industry.
Oct 21, 2021
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