Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cognitive Stroke Movement Therapy Systems through Integration of Wearable Haptic Interfaces

ASTAR-NKTH Joint Research Project (Jan 2010 - Dec 2012)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME)

Medical partner: Tan Tock Seng Hospital Rehab Center, Singapore (TTSH)
PI: I-Ming Chen (NTU), Stepan Gabor (BME)
Collaborator: Dr Keng Hee Kong, Dr Kay Fei Chan (TTSH)

Current rehabilitation process for stroke patients requires extensive involvement of physiotherapists with the patients. With the growth of aging population a world trend, the shortage of physiotherapists put a serious constraint on the healthcare systems in most developed countries. This project focuses on the development of wearable haptic interfaces that can be easily put on stroke patients in the post-stroke stage for non-intrusive continuous assessment and cognitive assistance in the rehabilitation process to help patients restoring human activities of daily living. We propose to develop an inertia-based vibrotactile device that can sense the patient’s posture for assessment as well as provide sensory feedback to the patient in conducting physiotherapy sessions with minimal supervision. We will also develop distal modules for a rehabilitation robotic system and augment the system with wearable distal sensing devices for wrists and hands in order to study both proximal-distal and distal-proximal types of robotic physiotherapy. From a scientific view point, signals obtained from the wearable haptic devices are the outcome of human neuron-motor control, and can be used as biofeedback signals to rehabilitation systems like rehabilitation robots and continuous passive motion machines (CPMM). Hence, we propose to integrate the wearable devices and the rehabilitation systems with real-time bio data processing in order to fine-tune and automate the rehabilitation process with minimal supervision. We will study sensory data obtained from the wearable device as functional movements and use that for cognitive control and integration of a complete rehabilitation system with a rehabilitation robot or a CPMM. On completion of the system integration, clinical validation in Singapore and Hungary on the rehabilitation systems will be conducted. We envisaged that the proposed non-intrusive sensing and feedback devices along with augmented rehabilitation systems will bring a new paradigm in stroke patient recovery.

Announcement at NKTH website:
Press release at ASTAR website:
PhD student and research staff openings are available. For more information, please contact Prof I-Ming Chen (