Special Issue "Method and Tools to Design Innovative Solutions for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Artificial Intelligence in Medicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrea Vitali
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, Information and Production Engineering, University of Bergamo, Dalmine (BG), Italy
Interests: Digital Human Modelling; 3D modelling; IT for Health; Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for Rehabilitation; Telemedicine
Prof. Dr. Daniele Regazzoni
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, Information and Production Engineering , University of Bergamo, Dalmine (BG), Italy
Interests: Digital Human Modelling; Rehabilitation; Ergonomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical medicine and rehabilitation have an increasing demand for IT tools that help physicians and physiotherapists to objectively evaluate patients’ improvements. Innovative technologies such as motion capture systems, virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence can be exploited to design medical applications useful to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life to people with physical impairments or disabilities, including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, strokes, as well as pain or disability due to muscle, ligament, or nerve damage.

Even if several research works have demonstrated how innovative IT can drastically improve the work of medical staff and patients’ rehabilitation, many research prototypes have never been adopted as rehabilitation tools in daily medical practice. This is usually related to the high costs of some solutions or the high complexity of use for both physicians and patients. The issue of moving a new solution from a research prototype to a useful rehabilitation tool must be considered one of the main challenges for innovating rehabilitation and tele-rehabilitation.

This Special Issue aims to investigate methods and tools to design research prototypes by considering their real introduction into hospitals and patients’ homes to improve rehabilitation processes.

Suggested topics:

  • Evaluation of usability: methods and tools to evaluate the usability of innovative rehabilitation tools according to the needs of both medical personnel and patients;
  • Tele-rehabilitation: main challenges for moving rehabilitation processes from the hospital to the patient’s home by considering human and technological aspects;
  • From ad-hoc developed technologies to consumer IT: economic and technological challenges in designing rehabilitative IT tools based on consumer technologies (e.g., laptops, smartphones, and tablets);
  • Design of natural user interfaces of applications for tele-rehabilitation;
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality for tele-medicine;
  • Motion capture solutions and innovative tools for motor skills rehabilitation;
  • Artificial intelligence for tele-rehabilitation.

Dr. Andrea Vitali
Prof. Dr. Daniele Regazzoni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • Tele-rehabilitation
  • Method and tools for usability
  • Motion capture systems
  • AR/VR
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Natural user interface

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Additional Effects of Xbox Kinect Training on Upper Limb Function in Chronic Stroke Patients: A Randomized Control Trial
Healthcare 2021, 9(3), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9030242 - 24 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Background: Xbox Kinect-based virtual reality, being a novel approach, has therapeutic benefits in rehabilitation and its use is encouraged in stroke rehabilitation of upper extremities. Objective: Primary aim of the current study is to investigate the additional effects of Xbox Kinect training in [...] Read more.
Background: Xbox Kinect-based virtual reality, being a novel approach, has therapeutic benefits in rehabilitation and its use is encouraged in stroke rehabilitation of upper extremities. Objective: Primary aim of the current study is to investigate the additional effects of Xbox Kinect training in combination with routine physiotherapy exercises based on each component of Fugl-Meyer Assessment Scale for Upper Extremity (FMA-UE). Moreover, effect of upper limb rehabilitation on cognitive functions was also assessed. Methods: This study was a parallel arm randomized control trial. Fifty-six participants were recruited and randomly allocated to either an Xbox Kinect training group (XKGT) or exercise training group (ETG). Measures of concern were recorded using FMA-UE, Box and Block Test (BBT), and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA). Evaluation was conducted at baseline and after completion of intervention at the sixth week. Results: There were significant differences from pre- to post-intervention scores of FMA-UE and BBT (p < 0.001) in both groups, whereas no difference was observed for MOCA (XKTG p value 0.417, ETG p value 0.113). At six-week follow-up there were significant differences between both groups in FMA-UE total score (p < 0.001), volitional movement within synergies (p < 0.001), wrist (p = 0.021), hand (p = 0.047), grasp (p = 0.006) and coordination/speed (p = 0.004), favoring the Xbox Kinect training group. Conclusion: To conclude, results indicate repetitive use of the hemiparetic upper extremity by Xbox Kinect-based upper limb rehabilitation training in addition to conventional therapy has a promising potential to enhance upper limb motor function for stroke patients. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Directing and Orienting ICT Healthcare Solutions to Address the Needs of the Aging Population
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020147 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Background: With an aging population, it is essential to maintain good health and autonomy for as long as possible. Instead of hospitalisation or institutionalisation, older people with chronic conditions can be assisted in their own home with numerous “smart” devices that support them [...] Read more.
Background: With an aging population, it is essential to maintain good health and autonomy for as long as possible. Instead of hospitalisation or institutionalisation, older people with chronic conditions can be assisted in their own home with numerous “smart” devices that support them in their activities of daily living, manage their medical conditions, and prevent fall incidents. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions facilitate the monitoring and management of older people’s health to improve quality of life and physical activity with a decline in caregivers’ burden. Method: The aim of this paper was to conduct a systematic literature review to analyse the state of the art of ICT solutions for older people with chronic conditions, and the impact of these solutions on their quality of life from a biomedical perspective. Results: By analysing the literature on the available ICT proposals, it is shown that different approaches have been deployed by noticing that the more cross-interventions are merged then the better the results are, but there is still no evidence of the effects of ICT solutions on older people’s health outcomes. Furthermore, there are still unresolved ethical and legal issues. Conclusion: While there has been much research and development in healthcare ICT solutions for the aging population, ICT solutions still need significant development in order to be user-oriented, affordable, and to manage chronic conditions in the aging wider population. Full article
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