Stroke Rehabilitation via a Haptics-Enhanced Virtual Reality System

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Abstract

Stroke is one of the major diseases causing brain injury, its sequela will, depending on persistent nervous injury, derive different types of limb and body exercise barriers, which will cause large challenge to the daily life of the patient and will seriously affect the quality of life of the patient. Along with the development and popularity of technology, scholars in the medical care and rehabilitation fields are trying to integrate all kinds of new technologies to perform the development of new rehabilitation training system.

In this study, for the rehabilitation of upper extremity, trainings are provided respectively for fore arm, for the endurance, stretching and flexibility of the wrist. Here game technology, force feedback technology and stereo image technology are associated to develop virtual reality body perceptive training task. In the rehabilitation process, multi-dimensional experimental results are acquired, for example, clinical test assessment, task performance, exercise track historical data and psychological emotional data. The research objectives are to verify the functionality of the system, to verify the effectiveness of the system on rehabilitation, to develop new assessment method and to investigate topics related to human machine interaction.

After initial pilot test is done on stroke patient, the experimental result has verified the functionalities of this rehabilitation training system in several aspects. Meanwhile, it can acquire reliable and valuable information successfully, for example, through the exercise analysis using exercise track historical data and using the statistical analysis of the task performance in the past therapeutic sessions, the medical therapeutic effect can be verified in the future, and new clinical assessment method can be developed. Not only so, according to the measured psychological emotional data as perceived subjectively, this system indeed can urge the patient to engage continuously rehabilitation therapeutic session that is based on this training system and enjoy it, besides, the authors are very confident on the possibly generated rehabilitation effect of these two training tasks.