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Technical and Patient Performance Using a Virtual Reality-Integrated Telerehabilitation System: Preliminary Finding

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3 Author(s)
Judith E. Deutsch ; Sch. of Health Related Professions, Univ. of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ ; Jeffrey A. Lewis ; Grigore Burdea

Telerehabilitation is the provision of rehabilitation services at a distance by a therapist at a remote location. Integration with virtual reality (VR) is a relatively new addition to this field. This paper describes the technical and patient performance of a telerehabilitation application the remote console (ReCon) that is integrated with a VR system. The VR system consists of the Rutgers Ankle prototype robot, a local PC which is connected with a remote PC connected over the Internet. Six individuals in the chronic phase poststroke participated in a four week training program. They used the robot to interact with two VR simulations, while the therapist was in the same room during the first three weeks or in another room during the fourth week. Technical and patient performance was assessed in the transition from the third to the fourth week of training. Technical performance of the system was assessed based on bandwidth and lag of message transmission, which were found to be suitable for clinic-to-clinic communication. Patient performance (in terms of accuracy of ankle movement, exercise duration and training efficiency, mechanical power of the ankle, and number of repetitions) did not decrease during telerehabilitation in the fourth week. These preliminary findings over a short telerehabilitation intervention support the feasibility of remote monitoring of VR-based telerehabilitation without adverse effects on patient performance

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 1 )