Stroke affects everyone differently, and it is difficult to say how much of a recovery is possible. While rehabilitation is not a cure, it does allow patients to become as independent as possible and to attain the best possible quality of life.
The project ‘Engaging game-based home rehabilitation for improved quality of life’ (REHAB@HOME) aims to design and develop an open-solution information technology device that allows the patient to exercise at home. The goal is for the device to offer a set of exercises, developed in close collaboration with a physician, based on personalised serious games adapted to the patient’s interests. The games should motivate the patient to continue working. Furthermore, they can be a social experience, done with family and friends.
Project members have produced a project handbook containing information and rules necessary for good cooperation and communication. The team has interviewed patients, caregivers and clinicians at two rehabilitation centres to further guide the development of the project.
The team has developed the first prototype of the REHAB@HOME platform. The server is in place and several end-user devices (Wii, Kinect, Sifteo Cubes) have been evaluated. The prototype was also introduced to patients, family members and professionals, and a framework for a more extensive pilot is under development.
This project has the potential to fulfill the needs of patients and caregivers for home rehabilitation, increasing their motivation and adherence to the programme. Clinicians will be able to monitor their patients at home, lowering the cost and time needed to supervise each patient.
Over time, home-based rehabilitation may solve two problems at once. It should expedite patient recovery while providing an answer to the challenge of increasing rehabilitation costs.