The Global Tele Rehabilitation System project (GTRS), promoted by the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) with the support of Fundación Vodafone España, has developed a solution for patients after suffering a stroke that allows them to do the rehabilitation at home under the control of a medical team. After a year and a half of trials, the initiative has concluded with excellent results.
The solution, created by the I2Cat Foundation, consists on a series of personalized exercises presented as a game that patients have to follow in order to improve mobility on the parts affected after the stroke. The system records the exercises to facilitate the evolution of treatment and includes programmed videoconferences so that doctors and patients can chat about the rehabilitation process.
The system, from the patient side, consists of a computer equipped with a touch screen, a Microsoft Kinect sensor and a mobile broadband internet connection provided by the 4G Vodafone network.
The application has been used by 30 patients from different ages that have a disability because of a stroke, and they have followed a treatment during four weeks in each one of the 4 available devices. Besides the devices, the Occupational Therapy Unit at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH), as well as the rehabilitation team lead by Dr. Inmaculada Bori, have had a key role in the clinical follow-up of the cases. Patients are really satisfied with the results of the day-to-day treatment. Now the pilot study is over, all the equipment will be incorporated to the normal practice to keep being of use to new patients. They are also studying the possibility of establishing these equipment in different rehabilitation centers.
The study, that has just concluded and its results will be presented in the next congress of the Sociedad Española de Neurología, has shown that the use at home of the system GTRS during 4 weeks induces a general improvement in the mobility of upper extremities of patients. All participants, patients and professionals, have coincided in valuing positively the tool and most of them regretted not being able to use it longer.
Dr. Marc Ribó, neurologist at the Ictus Unit of the HUVH, ensures that the system is “a step forward, which makes rehabilitation easier and saves time and money for the patient and for the public health system”. The challenge now is that the system also improves the mobility on inferior extremities, as well as using it for other disabilities.
Juan, 69 year-old, explains how with this application could improve his mobility after suffering a stroke while he was swimming.