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In the UK mobility issues affect 6% of 16-44 year olds and up to 55% of 75+ year olds; upper limb functional limitations are also highly prevalent in, for example, populations with stroke or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Thus a large proportion of the population will require assistive technology (AT) and/or rehabilitation programmes (RP) at some time during their life-course.
Prescriptions for AT vary from a simple orthosis, or walking stick to expensive and complex high-end wheelchairs for active spinal injured patients. Prescriptions for therapy, following a stroke or traumatic brain injury, may include regular stretching, or functional task practice.
Surprisingly, considering the high resource implications, no one has the technology to understand if AT is being used, how it is being used or how people adhere to RP.
Further, current systems do not generally integrate with on-the-body sensors, making interpretation of the data difficult. This leads to a continued reliance, even in large trials, on self-reporting for monitoring device usage/rejection.
This project focuses on the development of a platform to monitor the use of AT and compliance with RP and support the patient outside of the clinic. The project will demonstrate the technology in three patient groups: wheelchair users, prosthetic users and the elderly.
More about the AART-BC project can be found here.
Principal Investigator: Prof Helen Dawes and Prof Christopher James (Warwick University)
University of Warwick
University College London
University of York
University of Kent
University of Salford, Manchester