Technology is opening doors to innovation in patient care and rehabilitation, ranging from robotics to social media and beyond.
Patients who have suffered trauma, strokes, spinal cord injuries, hip fractures or neurological disorders, the key to a quicker recovery lies in technology and skilled physical therapists,
The new technique, details of which are reported in the journal of neurotrauma, is believed to represent the first time patients have regained voluntary leg movement without the need for invasive treatments such as surgery.
Instead, scientists utilized electrical stimulation therapy and physical rehabilitation exercises to treat patients.
"the potential to offer a life-changing therapy to patients without requiring surgery would be a major advance; it could greatly expand the number of individuals who might benefit from spinal stimulation"
Stimulation was elicited by a device called an epidural stimulator, which needed to be surgically implanted into the patient's spinal cord.
An ongoing computer science PHD with the school of computing and information engineering at the university of ulster, Coleraine, investigating how the principles of computer & video game design can be effectively applied to upper-limb stroke rehabilitation.
Rehabilitating finer movements such as reach, grasp, manipulation and release of objects. The advantage of using this technology is that real objects of different shape, size and weight can be used, with the potential of rehabilitating meaningful and transferable skills. The games work with a standard PC and webcam and so are very low-cost and potentially suitable for home use. The games are currently in early stages.