Ubiquitous Rehabilitation

Wearable sensors can be used to provide patients and clinicians with feedback on muscle activity while participating in activities of daily life such as washing the dishes, playing a game, or folding laundry.Rehabilitation research has demonstrated that repetitive practice can improve function after neurologic injury; however, the methods to support this practice are time and resource intensive. Face it – we would rather be playing outside, watching TV, or doing anything else besides the boring exercises and stretches that compose the typical rehabilitation regime.

Advances in sensor technology and ubiquitous sensing have created new pathways to understand and monitor human activity during daily life – facilitating movement practice in the home and community. The objective of this research is to develop the technology to enable ubiquitous rehabilitation – rehabilitation that harnesses activities of daily life to monitor, train, and improve movement. Specifically, we seek to design, develop, and evaluate novel approaches for tracking and training muscle activity to improve upper extremity function after neurologic injury.

Three biostamp monitors on the arm of a patient in the hospital after a stroke.

In collaboration with UT Austin and supported by the NSF-NIH Smart & Connected Health Initiative, this research combines expertise in engineering, material science, and rehabilitation to achieve three primary objectives:

  1. Further develop and test novel stretchable, wireless electromyography sensors for muscle activity monitoring and mobile interfaces for data processing, visualization, and biofeedback training
  2. Quantify the muscle activity and movement after stroke, and
  3. Evaluate methods to integrate biofeedback training into daily life.

 

The results of this research will expand our understanding of how humans control movement after neurologic injury and create new pathways to enhance movement and reduce the burdens of rehabilitation.

A user wears a flexible electrode on their forearm and uses the electrode to control the shift key on their laptop.

One of our co-designers requested using the EMG electrodes to control the shift key on his computer. Now he can use the interface to both make typing easier and practice activating his forearm muscles while he is at work.

 


Funding

This material is based upon work supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering under Grant Number 1R01EB021935-01. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health.


Recent News

Congratulations to Nicole Zaino for being awarded the ESMAC (European Society of Movement Analysis for Adults and Children) Best Paper ...
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Steele Lab members - Kat, Christina, Nick, and Momona - were invited to present their research about wearable sensors for ...
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Congratulations to Nicole Zaino and our colleague Mike Schwartz at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare for both being nominated as finalists ...
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Five members of our lab - Kat, Michael, Alyssa, Megan, & Nicole - attended ISB 2019 in Calgary, Canada. The ...
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Brianna Goodwing holding her award certificate at the conference.
Congratulations to Brianna Goodwin! She placed third in the Masters Student Paper Competition at the 2019 Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, & ...
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Congrats to Brandon Nguyen who was awarded the Best Student Poster award by the International Society of Prosthetics & Orthotics ...
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Walking takes energy - but for kids with cerebral palsy, walking can be exhausting. The average child with cerebral palsy ...
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Journal article in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: In collaboration with Gillette Children's Hospital and University Hospital Pellenberg we examined ...
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Alyssa and Momona attended the Summer School on Neurorehabilitation (SSNR) in Baiona, Spain from September 16th to the 21st. Alyssa gave a ...
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Sample sEMG signal from one subject’s FCU for (left) MVIC; (middle) dynamic and (right) functional tests indicate that there were no significant differences between the Delsys (lighter grey) and ESS electrodes (darker grey) based on raw sEMG amplitude, linear envelope amplitude, or power spectral density.
Journal article in Sensors: In collaboration with University of Texas - Austin, we evaluated a new flexible, gold-based epidermal electrode ...
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Brianna Goodwin, a Master's student in our lab, presented her collaborative abstract on monitoring Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), a therapy ...
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Journal Article in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: Despite significant differences in kinematics children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy have similar control ...
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Journal article in Journal of Biomechanics: How does the stiffness of an AFO impact the muscultendon dynamics of the gastrocnemius? Abstract ...
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Scatter plot illustrating that there is not a significant correlation between minimum knee flexion angle during stance and oxygen consumption.
Journal article in Journal of Biomechanics: Does energy consumption during walking increase with crouch severity among children with cerebral palsy? ...
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Example data from a representative TD participant. Left: EMG data processed with varying LP filter cutoffs. Center: Synergy weights and activations. Right: Total variance accounted for by n synergies. Total variance accounted for by a given number of synergies was sensitive to LP filter choice and decreased in both TD and CP groups with increasing LP cutoff frequency.
Journal article in Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience: Filtering parameters impact the results from muscle synergy analyses. Abstract: Muscle synergies calculated from electromyography ...
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Funding

  • NIH – NIBIB: SCH: Ubiquitous Rehabilitation to Improve Movement After Neurologic Injury