Improving outcomes for people requiring upper limb neurorehabilitation using a new technology approach in hospital

2023 RBWH Foundation Grant Round 1
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Project description

After a brain injury or stroke, the use of hands and arms (upper limbs) can be significantly impaired. This study aims to identify the improvement of upper limb use when innovative rehabilitation devices, including robotics and virtual reality (VR), are incorporated with standard rehabilitation care.

Why this work is needed

The use of technology has great potential for improving upper limb neurorehabilitation results. However, worldwide research shows that adoption of technology remains low, clinical intensity remains insufficient and neurological upper limb impairments remain as leading disease burden.

This project, led by Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS) Assistant Director Occupational Therapy Giovanna Tornatore, will address evidence gaps in functional improvements, such as cooking, dressing and typing, by exploring the feasibility of a hybrid approach (robotics + VR + sensor-based therapy) in conjunction with traditional care.

Expected outcomes

Anticipated outcomes include determining the feasibility of a hybrid-technology approach for people in need of upper limb neurorehabilitation. This person-centred, goal-based therapy approach guided by clinicians could lead the way for more effective and personalised interventions, addressing the persistent challenges in neurological upper limb rehabilitation and contributing to advancements in therapy intensity and outcomes.

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Meet the Researcher

Giovanna Tornatore

STARS Assistant Director Occupational Therapy

View Researcher Bio