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One improved tele-rehab apparatus for stroke patients

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000249659D
Publication Date: 2017-Mar-15
Document File: 5 page(s) / 16M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Hospitalization represents a significant monetary cost and source of stress related to post-injury and post-surgery rehabilitation. In fact, the progressive ageing of population is increasing the number of lower limb surgeries, and the demand for rehabilitation will increase over the next decades.

The development of mobile and pervasive technologies can give a crucial support for reducing the hospitalization time for patients and the corresponding societal costs, providing new procedures for rehabilitation and tele-rehabilitation.

The development of tele-rehabilitation techniques and technologies has at least three positive effects: (i) reducing the workload of the hospitals, thus allowing them to concentrate on the most critical cases; (ii) enabling patients to continue their rehabilitation process at home, under specialist supervision; (iii) reducing the overall cost for the society.

Rehabilitation is typically carried out under the supervision of a therapist or physician, who observes the patient and correct the execution of the exercise, if needed. There is a broad range of motor rehabilitation devices that move a limb automatically to follow predetermined trajectories, up to more advanced robotic exoskeletons, which leave more freedom to the patient and prevent wrong motions through force and impedance control. These machines are usually required when patients experienced an injury or surgery and need to perform exercises even before they completely recover self-motion.

Regarding a tracking-by-camera based rehabilitation system, it can provide real-time feedback via upper-limb tracking by using both infra-red camera and reflective markers when the patient does upper-limb exercise as Figure 1. The system processing diagram like motion tracking and evaluation is shown in Figure 2. It cannot support tele-rehab which can better communicate between the doctor and the patient via the video or the speech. In other words, it cannot provide real-time video communication from the patient at home to the doctor in the hospital due to there is no communication modules available and because the infra-red camera is used so only three markers are visible and other regions are invisible in the captured image, the information of video transferred to physicians is not sufficient.  

Figure 1

Figure 2

One improved tele-rehab apparatus is proposed for stroke patients. In this proposal, video compression/decompression modules and one video enhancement module are added to support real-time live video so that the doctor can know how the patients are doing exercise, which is better than off-line, not real-time review of the positions of three markers and the progress done by the...