[STUDY] – Design of a physiologically informed virtual reality based interactive platform for individuals with upper limb impairment

A large number of stroke-surviving individuals exhibit deficits related to upper limb movement, thereby making post stroke rehabilitation a critical part of patients’ health care system. The patients are typically treated with conventional occupational therapy at the hospital after stroke. However, due to economic pressures and limited health care resources often the patients receive less therapy than required causing them to be deprived of the potential therapeutic benefits. Thus implementing a cost-effective home based technology-assisted rehabilitation system which is capable of providing intensive, adaptive and individualized rehabilitation service is critical. Virtual reality (VR) based rehabilitation system seems to address this challenge effectively. VR technology for rehabilitation allows us to create an interactive environment with precise control over intensity of practice that influence one’s motor control in an individualized manner. In this study we developed an interactive VR-based platform which challenges the coordination skill of individuals with upper limb impairment. Additionally, we used patient’s physiological indices to understand their stress level while they interact with the VR-based rehabilitation environment. The system developed in this work is a first step to understand its potential to provide individualized home-based rehabilitative service with minimal dependency on physiotherapist. In our initial study designed as a proof-of-concept application, one stroke-surviving patient participated in the interactive VR-based task. The preliminary results obtained from this initial study indicate the potential of mapping one’s stress level to his physiological indices. Thus these results indicate the potential applicability of such a system for various stroke-rehabilitation applications

via IEEE Xplore Abstract (Abstract) – Design of a physiologically informed virtual reality based interactive platform for individuals with….

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