Software improves rehabilitation techniques
Researchers in the Department of Bioengineering at Strathclyde University are leading a research project that could improve rehabilitation after stroke, speed up recovery from joint replacements and prevent falls in older people.
The ’envisage’ project is led by the Department of Bioengineering’s professor of rehabilitation Philip Rowe, and involves a multidisciplinary group drawn from the universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian, Newcastle, Southampton, Glasgow School of Art and the NHS in the west of Scotland.
Prof Rowe’s main research areas lie in movement analysis, functional analysis and biomechanics of the human body in motion.
His goal is to develop bespoke software to allow data captured by the department’s specialist motion analysis system and portable motion sensors to be converted into clear and simple visualisations that will enable healthcare professionals to communicate movement information that was previously only available in graphical, tabular or numerical form, thereby helping patients to improve their own mobility and prevent injury.
Rowe said: ’A cornerstone of many physical rehabilitation techniques is a biomechanical understanding of a problem and its solution. But the use of biomechanical data has been limited in clinical practice because it is difficult to communicate. By using animation, we can enable patients to visualise a movement, and how it affects their body.’
The £1.5m project is funded by the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme — a cross-research council initiative in partnership with the UK Health Departments.