Posts Tagged App

[WEB SITE] imHere Homepage – mHealth Platform for Self-management


Interactive Mobile Health and Rehabilitation

iMHere is an mHealth platform promoting clinician-guided self-care to patients with chronic diseases. Internet accessibility provides a secure bridge between patients’ smartphone applications and a web-based clinician portal, and successfully empowers patients to perform subjective self-care and preventative measures. The app was designed to send monitorial data to the portal and also receive output regarding self-care regimens as recommended by the attending clinician. The combination of interactive, real-time medical monitoring with patient control offers a powerful, unique solution for patients living with chronic illnesses where cognitive and physical disabilities present significant barriers to effective self-care.

Using a web-based portal, the clinician (typically a nurse coordinator, social worker, case manager, or patient advocate) could monitor patients’ compliance with regimens and indicate self-care plans to be delivered to the patient via the app, allowing the clinician to monitor a patient’s status and intervene as needed. Clinicians could use the portal to tailor a regimen or treatment plan for each and every patient (e.g. scheduled medication, wound care instructions, etc.) and the portal would consolidate the plan to the smartphone app in real time—an advancement over existing comparable health portals which cannot push data to the app. Results of clinical implementation suggest that the iMHere app was successful in delivering values for patients and in engaging them to comply with treatment. In the first 6 months of the clinical implementation, patients have been consistently using the app for self-management tasks and to follow the regimes set up by their respective clinicians. We observed that the daily usage increased significantly in the first two months (from approximately 1.3-times/day to over 3-times/day), and then plateau at around 3.5 times per day per patient. This pattern of increasing usage in the first two months and the subsequent plateau is relatively consistent across all patients. The app is currently available in Android platform with an iPhone version under development.

via imHere Homepage – mHealth Platform for Self-management

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[WEB SITE] Flint Rehab Introduces MiGo Wearable for Stroke Recovery


Flint Rehab announces the launch of MiGo, a wearable activity tracker specifically designed for stroke survivors. The device makes its official debut at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

MiGo is designed to track upper extremity activity — in addition to walking — and is optimized for the movement patterns performed by individuals with stroke. The device is accompanied by a smartphone app that provides motivational support through digital coaching, progressive goal setting, and social networking with other stroke survivors, according to the company in a media release.

“Most wearable fitness trackers are designed to help people get into shape. MiGo is a new type of wearable that helps people regain their independence after a stroke,” says Dr Nizan Friedman, co-founder and CEO of Irvine, Calif-based Flint Rehab, in the release.

“Traditionally, innovation in medical technology has been limited by what insurance companies are willing to cover. As a consumer-level digital health technology, MiGo avoids these constraints, empowering stroke survivors to take their recovery into their own hands.”

A common outcome of stroke is hemiparesis, or impaired movement on one side of the body. One of the leading causes of this lifelong disability is a phenomenon called “learned non-use,” where stroke survivors neglect to use their impaired arm or leg, causing their brain to lose the ability to control those limbs altogether.

MiGo directly addresses the problem of learned non-use by motivating stroke survivors to use their impaired side as much as possible. Using deep-learning algorithms, MiGo accurately tracks how much the wearer is using their impaired side, providing them with an easy-to-understand rep count throughout the day.

MiGo also provides an intelligent activity goal that updates every day based on the wearer’s actual movement ability, ensuring every user stays continuously challenged at the level appropriate for them. Then, the device acts as the wearer’s personal cheerleader, giving them rewards and positive feedback right on their wrist as they work to hit their daily goal, the release explains.

“Suffering a stroke is a traumatic, life-changing event. Many survivors do not have the proper support network to deal with the event, and they may find it difficult to relate with friends and family who don’t understand what they are going through,” states Dan Zondervan, co-founder and vice president of Flint Rehab.

“Using the MiGo app, users can join groups to share their activity data and collaborate with other stroke survivors to achieve group goals. Group members can also share their experiences and offer encouraging support to each other — right in the app,” he adds.

For more information, visit Flint Rehab.

[Source(s0): Flint Rehab, Business Wire]


via Flint Rehab Introduces MiGo Wearable for Stroke Recovery – Rehab Managment

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[FREE App] Google Live Transcribe (Android): Transcribe What Anyone Is Saying – Video

Android Accessibility: Live Transcribe

Google Live Transcribe is an accessibility tool meant to make life easier for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. It automatically turns any speech into text while the person is still speaking. It’s fast enough to be used in conversations.

Android Accessibility: Live Transcribe

The text can be a black font on a white background or a white font on a black background. The top-right corner indicates whether the environment is noisy, which means people have to speak louder to be heard. And if someone speaks to you from behind, the phone vibrates to let you know. Try it out, it works surprisingly smoothly.

The app uses Google’s Cloud Speech API, so it requires an active internet connection. Google says it doesn’t store any audio on its servers, but we’d take such proclamations with a pinch of salt. Google already knows a lot about you, and they do share data with authorities.

Download: Google Live Transcribe for Android (Free)

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[REHABDATA] 20 apps for student success – National Rehabilitation Information Center

NARIC Accession Number: O21594.  What’s this? Download article in Full Text .
Author(s): O’Sullivan, Paige.
Project Number: 90RT5021 (formerly H133B130014).
Publication Year: 2017.
Number of Pages: 5.
Abstract: This list identifies software applications (apps) that may be helpful in key areas in which students with and without mental health conditions may need additional support. Some of these apps are only for use on desktops, while most are available on iPhones or Android products.

Can this document be ordered through NARIC’s document delivery service*?: Y.
Get this Document:

Citation: O’Sullivan, Paige. (2017). 20 apps for student success. Retrieved 4/19/2019, from REHABDATA database.via Articles, Books, Reports, & Multimedia: Search REHABDATA | National Rehabilitation Information Center

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[WEB SITE] Study: In-home stroke rehabilitation comparable to clinician-guided therapy

Both study groups used an app-based therapy, and required a similar number of sessions to become proficient in specific rehabilitation tasks.

Stroke patients who received in-home rehabilitation therapy from a tablet-based app had similar outcomes to those completing the same treatment with physician guidance, suggesting that the digital treatment could be effective without provider supervision, according to a paper recently published in Frontiers in Neurology.

The study’s 3,686 patients each had post-stroke aphasia affecting their speech or cognition, and were provided with the Constant Therapy app developed by The Learning Corporation (which conducted the study). The rehabilitation tool includes more than 70 different therapies targeting language and cognitive skill, and can be personalized with specific tasks that are based on the patient’s progress.

Topline data

Although both the at-home (n = 2,100) and in-clinic (n = 1,577) groups required a median three sessions to improve from a less than 60 percent accuracy rate to a greater than 90 percent rate, home users achieved proficiency in a median six days compared to clinic users’ median 12 days (p < .001).

This difference was driven by the frequency with which patients underwent the therapy, as those practicing at home engaged with the therapy significantly more often than those in the clinic (p < .001). On the other hand, clinic users did complete more items per therapy day than the home users (p < .001). The researchers observed no differences in improvement across specific age groups or time since injury.

How it was done

The researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of post-stroke aphasia patient data collected through the app from 2013 to 2017. The researchers included a number of filters to the review — for instance, limiting analysis to therapy tasks in which a patient initially struggled but eventually gained proficiency, or to therapy tasks that at least 15 patients from each group completed.

What’s the history

From virtual reality to computer vision, new in-home rehabilitation products are employing a number of different technologies to move care out of the clinic and into the home. Many of these platforms involve both a patient-facing product for independent use at home and a clinician or therapist-facing dashboard — for instance, Reflexion Health’s VERAHome and VERAClinic, both of which launched last year.

On the record

“These insights from real world patient experience could help update existing guidelines, and highlight areas for future study to uncover how improvements in specific tasks can help people living post-stroke regain the skills they cherish, such as reading a newspaper, having a complete conversation, or ordering from a menu at a restaurant,” Veera Anantha, CTO of The Learning Corporation, said in a statement.

via Study: In-home stroke rehabilitation comparable to clinician-guided therapy | MobiHealthNews

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[Assistive technology] Top 10 apps for disabled people

Top 10 apps for disabled people

Top 10 apps for disabled people

We all like to live as independently as possible, and for disabled people, technology and apps are an invaluable aid to achieving this. It seems that everyone nowadays owns a smartphone and tablet, and with that comes a seemingly unlimited world of apps to choose from. But which should you consider and how could they enhance your life? 

Here, our writers Carrie Aimes and Emma Purcell round up the top 10 apps for disabled people and why you should try them out, all updated for 2018.

TripTripHurray app

TripTripHurray accessible travel app

If you live with any form of disability, you will appreciate how challenging it can be to plan an accessible yet enjoyable holiday, or even just a day out. But help is at hand. The TripTripHurray app is a travel platform for people with specific needs that lets you quickly and easily search for accommodation, public transport, places of interest, shops, restaurants and services. It’s effectively a personalised trip adviser.

You can get the TripTripHurray app for free on Google Play for Android users or iTunes for those with an iPhone. It displays relevant options both locally and worldwide.

It’s Accessible

It's Accessible app for disabled peopleIf you have mobility issues, It’s Accessible can help you find and share accessible hot spots, including bars, restaurants, hotels and car parks. It currently has more than 12,000 across the world rated in the app. It is community dependent, so the more people that use it, the more information there will be available.

It’s free to use and compatible with all Android and Apple devices. I urge you to check this one out as not only will it help you get out and about, it will enable you to help others too!

Find out more about the app on the It’s Accessible app website.

Dragon Anywhere app

Dragon Anywhere dictation app


This dictation app enables you to create and edit documents of any length on your phone, tablet or laptop, all using your voice. By simply speaking into the device you can create text messages, compose emails and edit long documents, and then sync them with your Dropbox or cloud so they can be accessed on your computer.

The Dragon Anywhere app is aimed at busy professionals needing to work while commuting. But it has obvious benefits for disabled people too. Apple iPhone and Andriod users can download it for free, but after a trial, you’ll have to pay (£9.99 a month and £99.99 a year).

Our tech writer Tom Housden has tried out this app, along with some of Dragon’s other dictation apps. See his article on dictation apps for a full breakdown of how it works and what else is on offer.

Changing Places Toilet Finder app

Changing Places Toilet Finder app

No matter what your disability, being able to reach an accessible public toilet in good time is a daily challenge. The free Changing Places Toilet Finder app, from the RADAR Key company, lists thousands of accessible toilets across the UK.

It is a comprehensive guide of more than 1,000 Changing Places toilets, which are extra large toilets with changing facilities. The app shows you how far you are from one of the toilets, how to get there, its opening hours, how to open the door, whether it is normally locked and information regarding hoists and slings.

The app is free and available on iTunes for iPhone users and Google Play for Android users. You can also visit the Changing Places website to learn more about Changing Places toilets.

Disabled Motoring app

Disabled Motoring UK app

Disabled Motoring UK is a campaigning charity and magazine that aims to make life easier for disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders. Its app allows you to find accredited disabled parking, get help refuelling your vehicle and browse information on Blue Badges, as well as the latest news from the charity.

The app is free to download on iOS and Android devices but, for a fee, there are additional benefits you can sign up for. Becoming an online member will give you access to the members’ area on its website, as well as a monthly newsletter.

Alternatively, you can become a full/associate member and receive the monthly magazine and discounts on everyday goods, from groceries to holidays. It’ll also enable you to get help with motoring-related problems, such as parking tickets and local authority issues. The full/associate membership will cost £24 a year.

To find out more about Disabled Mobility UK, visit its website, and download the app on iTunes or Google Play.

Physiotherapy Exercises

Physiotherapy Exercises app for disabled people

The Physiotherapy Exercises app contains more than 1,000 images illustrating 600 exercises suitable for those with spinal cord injury and neurological conditions. Search, select and save exercises for future reference and even suggest others if you wish.

Developed by physiotherapists, this is an invaluable source that does not require an internet connection once downloaded. Get the Physiotherapy Exercises app for free on iTunes.

Red Panic button app

Red Panic Button app

To be able to immediately and urgently notify a number of contacts of your whereabouts can be hugely beneficial if you’re disabled. If you’re older, have learning disabilities, or live on your own but rely on others, you might want to consider the Red Panic Button.

One tap of the red button sends alerts to your contacts via text, email, Facebook and Twitter. All you need to do is enter the details of those you wish to alert ahead of using the app, and they will receive a Google Maps link with your location.

Many features are free to both Android and iOS users, though there is the option to upgrade at a fee, which means you can even send a photo attachment and record a 10-second voice message with your alert. Gain more independence and security with this handy and easy to use Red Panic Button app by visiting iTunes or Google Play.

Guide Dots app

Guide Dots navigation app

Guide Dots is a free Android app for people who are visually impaired. By combining Google maps, Facebook and powerful crowdsourcing technology, Guide Dots creates a broader and richer sense of the world around you.

You can experience an audio journey of your surroundings by easily instructing the app to give you building and route information through voice commands. It’ll also give you alerts when friends are nearby.

This is another community-driven app, so as more people use it, more information and detail will be available. Get involved by visiting the Guide Dots website.

If you’re visually impaired, check out our article on the top apps and gadgets for people with sight loss.

Have You Heard

Have You Heard voice amplification app

Designed for people with hearing impairments, this app will amplify voices around you so that you can better understand conversations with people in busy and loud places, such as with a friend in a restaurant or a colleague in a meeting.

You can focus on conversations either close by or further away by using the ‘focus near/far’ feature, and adjust the volume to suit you. If you still haven’t quite heard something, you can replay the last 20 seconds of a conversation at the press of a button.

To use it, you’ll need to connect a headphone to your phone. It’s free and only available on iTunes for iPhone users.

Uber taxis app

Uber app for disabled people

Having a disability means that public transport often isn’t an option, leaving you to rely on taxis. To stop you getting stranded, you can download the Uber app, allowing you to request a taxi ride from where you are using your phone.

To do so, simply create an account with your card or PayPal – no cash required – and select a vehicle to suit your needs. If you do want to plan ahead, the Scheduled Rides feature allows you to book a vehicle up to 30 days in advance.

Uber has two services aimed at helping disabled passengers get around. Its uberACCESS taxis are equipped with a rear-entry ramp and four-point restraints, enabling wheelchair users to ride safely and comfortably with one additional passenger. Its other accessible service, uberASSIST, is designed for those who don’t need a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, but require additional assistance on their journey.

All uberACCESS and uberASSIST partners have received Disability Equality Training from Transport for All and Inclusion London, and both cost the same as using uberX, one of Uber’s lowest-cost services.

UberACCESS (previously called uberWAV) is available in London, Manchester and Birmingham, and uberASSIST is available in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, and Sheffield. There are plans to roll out both into other areas soon.

Uber is free to download to Android and iOS phones, from Google Play or iTunes.

By Carrie Aimes and Emma Purcell


via Assistive technology: top 10 apps for disabled people

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[NEWS] New Study Suggests Benefits of Digital Therapy for Stroke Patients – Rehab Managment

Published on 


A large scale retrospective study of post-stroke rehabilitation practices compares outcomes among patients using tablet-based therapy at home and those who complete the same therapy in a clinic.

The study, published in Frontiers in Neurology, analyzed data from 3,686 Constant Therapy users—patients with post-stroke aphasia—over a 4-year period (2013-2017).

In the study, home users and clinic users completed cognitive and language tasks such as Functional Math, Name Pictures, Map Reading, and Auditory Commands that are featured in the Constant Therapy app. Home users worked independently while clinic users worked under the guidance of a clinician. The study compared improvement rates for both groups, who were initially struggling with a task (less than 60% accuracy) but eventually mastered it (more than 90% accuracy), explains a media release from The Learning Corp.

Key findings include:

  • Home users took less time to master tasks than users who only practiced in the clinic. While both home and clinic users required roughly the same amount of practice to master cognitive and language tasks, users who had on-demand access to therapy on their tablet mastered tasks in a median of six days, while those with only in-clinic access mastered tasks in a median of 12 days.
  • Home users practiced therapy more frequently than clinic users. Users who had access to digital therapy on their own terms took advantage of practicing at home at least every two days, while clinic users practiced in the clinic just once every five days.
  • Improvements are possible long after a stroke has occurred. Thousands of people in the study, regardless of where they practiced, showed significant gains in language and cognitive skills even though their stroke occurred long ago (on average two years ago for home users and average of 1.6 years ago for clinic users).
  • Improvements aren’t just for the young. While the average age of home users was 60 years old and the average age of clinic users was 64 years old, nearly one third (29%) of users were 71 years old or more, and the oldest user was 97 years old.

Veera Anantha, president and CTO of The Learning Corp, suggests that the study’s findings show that home users who practice often can also progress quickly, which may mean they are ready to work on more challenging tasks in their next home or clinic session.

“These insights from real world patient experience could help update existing guidelines and highlight areas for future study to uncover how improvements in specific tasks can help people living post-stroke regain the skills they cherish, such as reading a newspaper, having a complete conversation, or ordering from a menu at a restaurant,” Anantha states.

A previous study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience examined the effectiveness of Constant Therapy among a group of 51 patients. It provided preliminary evidence for the usefulness of a tablet-based platform to deliver tailored language and cognitive therapy to individuals with aphasia, per the release.

[Source(s): The Learning Corp, Business Wire]


via New Study Suggests Benefits of Digital Therapy for Stroke Patients – Rehab Managment

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[NEWS] Struggling to focus? This new brain training app may help

In a world in which our brains are almost constantly overstimulated, many of us may find it challenging to stay focused for extended periods. Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom have now developed an app that trains the mind to maintain concentration.

This newly developed brain-training app could effectively improve your concentration and other cognitive skills.

Research suggests that a newly developed brain training app may improve our concentration and other cognitive skills.

Many, if not most, of us spend our days rapidly switching between competing tasks. We call this “multitasking,” and take pride in how efficient we are in dealing with multiple problems at the same time.

However, multitasking requires that we quickly redirect our focus from one activity to another and then back again, which, in time, can have a detrimental effect on our ability to concentrate.

“We’ve all experienced coming home from work feeling that we’ve been busy all day but unsure what we actually did,” says Prof. Barbara Sahakian from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.

“Most of us spend our time answering emails, looking at text messages, searching social media, trying to multitask. But, instead of getting a lot done, we sometimes struggle to complete even a single task and fail to achieve our goal for the day,” she adds, noting that we may even find it difficult to stay focused on pleasant, relaxing activities, such as watching TV.

Yet, she continues, “For complex tasks, we need to get in the ‘flow’ and stay focused.” So, how can we re-teach our minds to stay focused?

Prof. Sahakian and colleagues believe that they may have found an effective and uncomplicated solution to this problem.

The research team has developed a brain training app called “Decoder,” which can help users improve their concentration, memory, and numerical skills.

The scientists have recently conducted a study to test the effectiveness of their new app, and they now report their results in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

An app that improves concentration

In the study, Prof. Sahakian and team worked with a cohort of 75 young and healthy adult participants. The trial spanned 4 weeks, and all the participants took a special test measuring their concentration skills at both the beginning and the end of the study.

As part of the trial, the researchers divided the participants into three groups. They asked one group to play the new Decoder training game, while the second group had to play Bingo, and the third group received no game to play.

Those in the first two groups played their respective games during eight 1-hour sessions over the 4 weeks, and they did so under the researchers’ supervision.

At the end of the trial period, the researchers found that the participants who had played Decoder demonstrated better attention skills than both the participants who had played Bingo and those who had played no game at all.

The researchers state that these improvements were “significant” and comparable to the effects of medication that doctors prescribe for the treatment of attention-impairing conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

App could help with ADHD

In the next step of the trial, Prof. Sahakian and team wanted to test whether Decoder could boost concentration without negatively affecting a person’s ability to shift their attention effectively from one task to another.

To do so, they asked participants who had used Decoder and Bingo to take the Trail Making Test (TMT), which assesses individuals’ attention-shifting capacity. The researchers found that Decoder players performed better on the TMT than Bingo players.

Finally, participants who played Decoder reported higher rates of enjoyment while participating in this activity, as well as stronger motivation and better alertness throughout all their sessions.

“Many people tell me that they have trouble focusing their attention. Decoder should help them improve their ability to do this,” says Prof. Sahakian.

“In addition to healthy people, we hope that the game will be beneficial for patients who have impairments in attention, including those with ADHD or traumatic brain injury. We plan to start a study with traumatic brain injury patients this year,” the researcher also notes.

An ‘evidence-based game’

Cambridge Enterprise recently licensed the new game to app developer Peak, who specialize in the release of brain training apps. Peak have adapted Decoder for the iPad platform, and the game is now available from the App Store as part of the Peak Brain Training package.

George Savulich, another of the current study’s authors, notes that, unlike other apps that claim to train the brain but do not necessarily deliver on their promise, he and his colleagues based the development of Decoder on hard scientific evidence.

Many brain training apps on the market are not supported by rigorous scientific evidence. Our evidence-based game is developed interactively […]. The level of difficulty is matched to the individual player, and participants enjoy the challenge of the cognitive training.”

George Savulich

“Peak’s version of Decoder is even more challenging than our original test game, so it will allow players to continue to gain even larger benefits in performance over time,” Prof. Sahakian adds.

“By licensing our game, we hope it can reach a wide audience who are able to benefit by improving their attention,” she says.

via Struggling to focus? This new brain training app may help

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[WEB PAGE] Robotics in social care

Robots and autonomous systems, together with artificial intelligence, connected data and digital infrastructure could have the potential to revolutionise the way in which social and medical care for the elderly is delivered.

The rising costs of care and the need to provide much better levels of support for a growing ageing population, not only in the UK, but around the world, means that the development of these types of technology should be developed as a matter of priority by governments and health providers.

The problem is not so much that we are living longer but we are doing so with debilitating illnesses that not only undermine our health but also our mental capabilities. So, how do we help the elderly to live more fulfilling lives and not simply look to better manage physical or mental decline as we age?

In the UK, there are currently almost 12million people who are aged 65 or over. By 2045 that is expected to have reached a total of 19million and with that increase the number of people coping with illnesses, such as arthritis, heart disease of dementia is also expected to increase.

Total public spending on social care in the UK is driven by population need, the resources that are available and national priorities and in the summer of last year, the UK Government announced a significant increase in the funding that would be made available.

However, that funding was for the National Health Service (NHS) as a whole, and the announcement was criticised for failing to address problems around social care provision, especially for the elderly.

The Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation Niall Dickson said: “Social care remains the Achilles’ heel, it has been consistently underfunded, neglected and unloved by politicians over many years and the extra funding announced is clearly inadequate.”

In fact, it’s been estimated that over 1.2million older people in the UK are having to live with some level of unmet care need.

So how can technology be deployed to address this?

Robotic support for social care

According to a UK-RAS Network paper, published in 2017, ‘A Connected Care Ecosystem for Independent Living’, robotics could be used to support social care and connect users at home, in residential care and in hospital. Better care and support for independent living is certainly cheaper to manage and, more importantly, provides better support for independent living. By providing a more joined-up service it should be possible to make the transition from hospital to the home a lot easier to manage and in doing so free up resources in the NHS.

With more elderly and rising numbers of healthcare challenges technology, in the form of more portable and easier-to-use devices, could help to blur the distinctions seen between social and health care as more assistive robotic medical devices are deployed to monitor conditions in the home.

Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a robotic rehabilitation tool for stroke sufferers, for example, which helps them to improve their hand function.

Rehabilitation, such as for stroke sufferers, can often require long term supervision and support, robots and virtual reality are seen as enabling the healthcare system to provide much improved long-term support, especially if that support has been customised to meet the needs of the individual patient.

Japan is one of a growing number of developed countries that is having to confront the problem of an ageing population – and with over 25 per cent of the population over 65 Japan is being forced to adapt and use technology to address a rapidly ‘greying’ market.

“Japan is a super ageing society and many older people don’t know how to take care of their health,” said Kohjiro Ueki, director of the Diabetes Research Center at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo.

Speaking to Forbes magazine, Ueki talked about the impact of diabetes on the country’s ageing population, with over 10million people now suspected of having the disease.

The ‘Prevention of Worsening Diabetes Through Behavioural Changes’ trial uses an IoT self-monitoring system

Costs associated with the disease are soaring, but it can be easily managed. In response, Ueki and his colleagues have developed an app, which is being deployed in a controlled trial called the ‘Prevention of Worsening Diabetes Through Behavioural Changes’ which uses a IoT self-monitoring system to monitor eating habits.

The app records step counts, monitors physical activity, diet, body weight and blood performance. That data is collected and then uploaded to the Cloud and monitored by the individual’s doctor.

The trial involves over 2000 people and is one year into a two-year trial period.

The IoT has enabled doctors to better manage their patients and more sophisticated algorithms are planned that could see users receiving messages to boost their exercise levels or seek help.

Trialling technology

This is just one of many trials involving technology that is intended to help the elderly cope with long term illness or to improve their quality of life.

For example, smart tags, inserted into clothes or shoes, are being used to monitor the movements of dementia sufferers.

Successful ageing is defined as including a low probability of disease and disease-related disability, a high level of physical and cognitive functioning and an active engagement in life.

Robots could be used to assist people as they age helping them to maintain both physical and social activity, ensuring that they eat and drink appropriately and could help to promote a feeling of control and empowerment, that people tend to feel they lose as they grow older.

There are already a growing number of robotic devices that can help in the home, and robotic and autonomous systems are expected to be incorporated into everyday devices enabling independent living.

Future homes are likely to integrate technology into consumer devices expanding their functionality and ease of use. Items of furniture with embedded intelligence are now appearing. Tables, for example, are being developed to act like robots – coming to the user.

One project – iDress – is intended to develop a proactive system capable of assisting someone trying to dress, while exoskeletons are being developed to help elderly people with walking difficulties, increasing their independence and motor function. In time they could be used to replace wheelchairs.

Elderly people who are socially isolated are at much greater risk of developing a variety of ailments and while robots are good at improving an elderly person’s movement they can also play a role in keeping elderly people engaged both socially and mentally.

Loneliness and social isolation are known to have a serious impact on the health of the elderly and there are worries that as the population ages, so the problems associated with social isolation will only increase.

Japan, as we have seen, is facing a ‘greying’ crisis, and as a result has invested heavily in developing social care robots that are able to serve, communicate with and provide emotional support.

In Germany the Fraunhofer IPA has developed a Care-o-bot that has been deployed in a number of assisted living facilities and are able to carry food and drink to residents, while at the same time providing entertainment in the form of memory games.

Importantly, the robot has been programmed to keep its distance from residents, use limited gestures and reflect emotions and show that it understands and demonstrates what it intends to do.

CT Asia Robotics has developed a personal assistant that can help the user to remember to take pills and tracks their health. It can take calls from family and doctors too.

These devices are all suitable for use in a communal environment but robots designed for use in the home will need to be able to do far more.

One example is the ElliQ, which is an interactive robot that comes with an integrated tablet – not only does it track pill usage, monitor and take phone calls and the like, but it can act as a companion. It does this by providing updates on the weather or by suggesting outdoor activities and uses machine learning to better understand a user’s preferences.


But while the demand for robotic solutions is growing there are doubts tabout this so-called robotic revolution. Many medical professionals argue that the use of robots only compounds the problems of isolation and that people will need people in order to ensure their emotional and psychosocial well-being. Whatever the concerns, however, research does point to the fact that the use of social robots really can address issues of care and isolation and while there are some who are concerned by the deployment of robots to address these problems, the majority of robotic researchers tend to be in favour of their use.

Robot companions, which use artificial intelligence, are increasingly being used and these devices are able to interact with people on their own.

Examples include pet-like companions such as Aibo and Paro and MiRo, the latter is manufactured in the UK by Consequential Robotics, which is a spin out from the University of Sheffield.

MiRo is manufactured in the UK by Consequential Robotics

MiRo is a fully programmable autonomous robot with six senses, eight degrees of freedom and an innovative brain-inspired operating system and was developed to provide a platform suited for developing companion robots.

According to the company, MiRo is based on a simple premise, which is that animals have the social qualities that are desirable in social robots in that they are robust, good at communicating and adaptable.

Using that approach the robot is suited to robot-human interaction.

Although they can offer limited interaction these ‘pets’ have been shown to reduce feelings of loneliness and in one test case, involving the use of robotics dogs in a UK care home, brought increased levels of happiness and comfort.

When it comes to controlling robots the growing use of voice commands is proving a benefit, as many elderly people find using a touchscreen difficult.

Portsmouth University is developing speech and tablet interfaces for assistive robots that can operate inside and outside the home and is part of a much wider project being funded by the European Union, Robot-Era.

For people with conditions that affect their ability to speak clearly a team at the University of Sheffield is developing Automatic Speech Recognition technologies.

The research being undertaken into social robots is only just the beginning, but while humans are still better at providing the care and social contact needed by the elderly, robots will certainly be able to fill many gaps as the technology evolves and develops.

Should robots replace social and care workers? That’s a loaded question and most professionals would argue that there needs to be far more effort to address the wider public’s anxieties around the use of robots.

Building safety and trust in their deployment will be crucial if they are to be accepted into people’s homes. That safety needs to encompass mechanical safety, software safety and physical safety when robots have to interact with the wider world.

While there’s a long way to go, the opportunity to use robots and autonomous systems in social care
in the coming decades are profound and they are likely to have a significant role to play in enabling the elderlyto grow old actively and to do so with dignity.

Neil Tyler

via Robotics in social care

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[WEB SITE] This Smart Glove Could Be the Future of Physical Therapy

BY  01.10.2019

Rapael Smart Glove (Photo Credit: Neofect)

Recovering after a stroke isn’t easy, but Neofect is here to help patients track their rehabilitation progress with an innovative wearable solution.

At CES 2019, the company exhibited its Rapael Smart Glove, a high-tech rehab device that helps stroke patients improve their hand movements. The device also syncs with an app, where patients can play rehabilitation games and track milestones.

Neofect didn’t disclose a price for the Rapael Smart Glove, but customers can go on the company’s website to buy it. The Rapael Smart Glove is also available for clinics that need stroke rehabilitation equipment.

Using the Rapael Smart Glove is very easy: Gently slide on the device, connect to the Rapael App with a smartphone or tablet, and play a variety of rehabilitation games. The app’s fun games include virtual tennis matches and house painting, and they’re available in different levels to balance challenge and motivation. Plus, the Rapael App collects practice data for patients, so they can track their hand recovery progress.

With the Rapael Smart Glove, patients can practice hand exercises and improve dexterity over time. An advantage of the Rapael Smart Glove is that it can help stroke patients who might not have immediate access to hospitals or physical therapy facilities, so they can work on their hand movements without leaving home.

“We aim to help patients all around the world including, but not limited to, those unable to receive appropriate treatment due to economic or geographic reasons,” says Neofect’s website. “By providing rehab training products and services that are available anytime and anywhere, we are committed to improving patient’s rehab experiences and quality of life.”


via This Smart Glove Could Be the Future of Physical Therapy –

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