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The existing techniques used for post stroke rehabilitation have sought to offer stroke survivors with upper extremity motor deficits a system for the practice and re-learning of motor tasks. Some studies suggest that the use of Virtual Reality technologies as an assistive technology in combination with conventional therapies can achieve improved results in post stroke rehabilitation. Despite the wealth of ongoing research attempting to build a virtual reality based system for upper extremity rehabilitation, there still exists a need for a training platform that would provide whole arm rehabilitation. In order to be practical this system should ideally be low cost and involve minimal therapist involvement. This paper describes some of the applications of virtual reality that have undergone clinical trials with patients suffering from upper extremity functional motor deficits. A brief description of VR technologies that are in place, providing benefits to the stroke patients with upper extremity motor and functional deficits, alongside a proof of concept of a whole arm rehabilitation platform is presented.
Date of Conference: 26-29 July 2010