Convergence Human Mobility Center
Yearly in the Netherlands between 40,000 and 45,000 patients suffer a stroke. 80% subsequently suffer from motor impairments such as paralysis or spasticity, needing help with daily activities and in participating in social activities and work. This leads to loneliness, psychological problems and loss of quality of life. Motor rehabilitation is crucial after stroke, but it is also labor-intensive and not particularly accessible. Further, the demand for care after stroke will increase by 35% by 2035 alone [1,2,3]. Now that the limits of the financial, personnel and social sustainability of healthcare are approaching, rehabilitation needs to become more effective and efficient. Technology can contribute by facilitating rehabilitation in one’s own home environment. Patients will become less dependent on one-on-one guidance from a therapist, have to travel less to rehabilitation centers and will be more independent in their planning. Ease of use, accessibility and acceptance are important challenges of new technology. Importantly, vulnerable groups may not benefit from it, increasing existing health differences. The Convergence Human Mobility Center (CHMC) brings together technicians, clinical experts, socio-medical researchers, patients and industrial partners. Together we will build on technology-based interventions for minimally supervised motor rehabilitation at home and under minimal supervision of a therapist in the rehabilitation center. Motion sensors inform patients and their therapists about recovery and progress of treatment. Home exercise will be supported by easy-to-use robots with challenging (virtual) exercise programmes tailored to the patient. These developments are emphatically done in collaboration with vulnerable groups so that they too benefit fully from this new form of rehabilitation. The future impact goes beyond the stroke population and will include diseases like multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease and osteoarthritis.
- Gerard Ribbers
- Jane Cramm
- Laura Marchal-Crespo