Purpose of this final thesis is to view what kind of robots there are in use in stroke rehabilitation nursing, focusing on upper limb rehabilitation. At the same time this work will view the attitudes of patients and therapist towards robotics in the health care field.
Robots are present and with robots engineers are trying to develop the health care services. Robots have come to different health care fields different technology is used in rehabilitation nursing. Robots help patients to recover more quickly.
I am implementing this work as a literature review. Search of articles were done in three different databases EBSCO host, PubMed and Science Direct. The work ends up to use articles choose from EBSCO host and Science Direct, total 6 articles.
I did found that there are several robots in use and I will introduce in this work some of them that are in commercial cell and one prototype. Attitudes were introduced to be good but still people trust more real humans.
Rehabilitation robots exist but they are not in that big use. Studies show that robotic use in rehabilitation increases the outcome. The problem with robots is mainly high price and attitudes of the therapist.
Robots are the present day and the future. All over the history humans have been trying to use different kind of machines to help them in everyday life. In Finland developing the robots has been slow, there are only a few companies who are doing the developmental work. Same slowness is also noticeable in Europe too. (Jaakkola 2015.)
There are already many active robots in factories, so why not in health care too. By automatization many companies have decreased the unit costs, increased the quality and productivity (Mattila 2015). Big companies such as Toyota have done experiments and developments to create a working and useful care robot. They have released at least four different kind of care robots that help disabled people to manage in their everyday life. (Linnake 2011.)
In Europe there are more than million strokes per year and the number is rising (Bonita et al. 2006). Stroke rehabilitation patients are the biggest group to use rehabilitation services (Kallanranta, 1994). Every stroke rehabilitation is individual; 40 percent of stroke patients needs long term rehabilitation. In rehabilitation, the patient’s capability in everyday living is improved. After three months of effective rehabilitation 50-70 percent of the patients are recovered as independent in everyday living, 15-30 percent have been left permanently disabled and 20 percent need inpatient care. (Aivoliitto 2015.)
Robots in rehabilitation nursing help patients to get back in shape. Thought attitudes towards robots vary. Recently published France research says that people are not taking advice from robots willingly. (Chetouani et al. 2015.)
In stroke rehabilitation a multi-professional work group is focusing on every symptom that a patient has. Their job is to improve the patient’s life as much as possible. Only a half of the patients in Finland who are in need of effective stroke rehabilitation are getting it. (Aivoliitto 2015). Is there something that we can do to improve that? Can we use robotics and robots to improve that number?
Some people are afraid of robots to take over their jobs. In my opinion in the health care field that is not a very big thing to be afraid of. Patients need the human contact. It is said that robots are taking over the jobs but they are also producing new ones. (Mattila 2015.) In Finland the government is not considering them as futures workers. The founder of Robotics Finland, Cristina Andersson puts a big part of her hope to the health care field and development of robotics in there (Mattila 2015).
The head of the Mainio Vire company Leena Munter says that nowadays in Finland the use of robotics in health care is minimum. She says that there are a lot of places and possibilities to develop new working robots for example to elderly care. (Munter 2015.)
In this work I am focusing on already existing rehabilitation robots in stroke recovery