Advances in Wearable Technology and Applications in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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CitationBonato, Paolo. 2005. Advances in wearable technology and applications in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2: 2.
AbstractThe development of miniature sensors that can be unobtrusively attached to the body or can be part of clothing items, such as sensing elements embedded in the fabric of garments, have opened countless possibilities of monitoring patients in the field over extended periods of time. This is of particular relevance to the practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Wearable technology addresses a major question in the management of patients undergoing rehabilitation, i.e. have clinical interventions a significant impact on the real life of patients? Wearable technology allows clinicians to gather data where it matters the most to answer this question, i.e. the home and community settings. Direct observations concerning the impact of clinical interventions on mobility, level of independence, and quality of life can be performed by means of wearable systems. Researchers have focused on three main areas of work to develop tools of clinical interest: 1)the design and implementation of sensors that are minimally obtrusive and reliably record movement or physiological signals, 2)the development of systems that unobtrusively gather data from multiple wearable sensors and deliver this information to clinicians in the way that is most appropriate for each application, and 3)the design and implementation of algorithms to extract clinically relevant information from data recorded using wearable technology. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation has devoted a series of articles to this topic with the objective of offering a description of the state of the art in this research field and pointing to emerging applications that are relevant to the clinical practice in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
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