Mobile Tablet-Based Stroke Rehabilitation: Using mHealth Technology to Improve Access to Early Stroke Rehabilitation

Michael William Pugliese, Kumanan Wilson, Julien Guerinet, Katherine M Atkinson, Karen H Mallet, Rany Shamloul, Lise Zakutney, Dale Corbett, Dar Dowlatshahi

Abstract


Mobile health (mHealth) technology represents a means through which more stroke survivors could access early stroke rehabilitation. Although rehabilitation is most effective when begun early post-stroke, limited resources (facilities, therapists) prevent survivors from initiating therapy. Furthermore, the coupling of an aging population with advances in acute therapy has led to an increase in the absolute number of individuals suffering from and surviving strokes which in turn has put further strain on already scarce rehabilitation resources. There is an urgency to conduct high-quality research exploring cost-effective and creative mHealth devices for early rehabilitation in the acute setting. Mobile technology allows therapists to prescribe apps based on standard cognitive/physical assessments in the acute setting, remotely monitor patient progress across individual carepaths, and update prescribed therapies based on patient feedback and recovery. Recognition of the growing problem of accessing early stroke rehabilitation, and the possibilities offered by mHealth technology led to the development of the RecoverNow platform for stroke rehabilitation in the acute setting. RecoverNow is a custom built, tablet-based stroke rehabilitation platform that houses a variety of previously existing apps with activities analogous or identical to exercises in speech language and/or occupational therapy. While RecoverNow represents how mobile technology can be utilized to address a growing public health issue, the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of tablet-based stroke rehabilitation are unknown. Studies with the goal of establishing feasibility of early tablet-based stroke rehabilitation are needed and, if appropriate, a randomized controlled trial to establish efficacy.


Keywords


aphasia, mobile tablet; recovery; stroke

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies. ISSN: 1865-7923
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