UniTherapy: Software Design and Hardware Tools of TeletherapyBy Feng, Xin; Ellsworth, Christopher; Johnson, Laura; Winters, Jack M.; RESNA 27th International Annual Conference 2004: Technology & Disability: Research, Design, Practice, & Policy,
Publication Date: 2004
Paper discusses the design and development of UniTherapy, which is an interface that utilizes force-reflecting joysticks to provide upper limb assessments and therapy for people who have experienced a stroke. UniTherapy provides a client/practitioner interface that includes a customized joystick called the TheraJoy. The device was modified by the researchers to include arm movements that account for shoulder flexion. The TheraJoy’s handle and shaft were increased by 1 meter in size to accommodate a wider range of motion, while a telescoping component was implemented to allow for shorter or longer motions. Linear motors were included to create a user-centered potential energy field to facilitate user movement. The user may also adjust the handle grip for simplicity of use. A preliminary model of the design was used in a study that involved six participants with varying degrees of stroke-induced hemiparesis, who were first evaluated by standard assessment instruments. The study was conducted to focus on the system’s usability in two-dimensional tracking tasks, as movement times and path errors were gathered. The researchers reported positive preliminary findings in terms of the potential of using the TheraJoy in a rehabilitation and assessment environment. Implications for further research are discussed.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)