Interactive Infrastructures: Physical Rehabilitation Modules for Pervasive Healthcare Technology

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Pervasive Health – State of the Art and Beyond, 2014, 1, pp. 229 - 254 (25)
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Traditional physical rehabilitation techniques are based mainly on mechanical structures and passive materials. This has certain limitations, which can be overcome by applying interactive technologies. As a team of designers, technologists and medical researchers and practitioners, we have developed an interactive sensor floor tile system and several other modules for rehabilitation exercises, as part of an interactive infrastructure to support rehabilitation. Since 2009, the team has advanced its understanding of rehabilitation practices and problems, and designed prototypes, interventions and demonstrators in order to gain feedback on our approach. We have identified as the three critical issues affecting rehabilitation motivation, customisation, andindependence. The system that we have developed is founded on the current mechanical practices, of improvisational nature, and creative use of existing materials and techniques, expanding from this way of working by applying new interactive digital technologies and 3D instant manufacturing techniques. We have developed a number of modules for the system, and a physical programming technique which aims to blend in with current practices. Two sets of sensor floor modules are in use in hospitals and we are reporting in this chapter the first positive effects the system has on the rehabilitation of stroke patients.
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