The availability of virtual environments on the Web is fostering new applications of virtual reality in several fields, including some therapeutical applications. We present an application of virtual reality applied to the tele-rehabilitation of patients with traumatic brain injury and stroke. Our system, based on X3D and Ajax3D technologies, enhances the possibility of making tele-rehabilitation exercises aimed at the recovery of the neurological disease. The system, called Nu!RehaVR, has been designed to integrate the activity carried out on a tele-rehabilitation system, Nu!Reha (Nu!Reha is a trademark of Pragma Engineering srl. See http://www.nureha.eu) desk, with the activities performed in the virtual worlds, through some rehabilitation exercises in contexts incompatible with the patients’ impairments (not able to move or forced in static positions because of therapies, etc.). The architecture of Nu!RehaVR and the environments associated to two exercises, “Utilising an elevator to reach a given floor” and “Crossing a road using a traffic light”, are illustrated. These exercises can be considered as prototypes of a series of tele-rehabilitation exercises which help to stimulate the patients performing actions in relatively dangerous scenarios. The system is designed to allow the remote monitoring and assessment of the patient’s activities by the medical staff at the hospital using the communication facilities of the tele-rehabilitation system.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
EU projects IST H-CAD and eTen Hellodoc are acknowledged for having promoted the concept of tele-rehabilitation applied to neuro-rehabilitation practice and for the support provided. The Working Group “ELAMS” of the COST D37 Action is acknowledged for the useful knowledge and technology contribution provided to the present research.
Burdea G, Popescu V et al (2000) Virtual reality-based orthopaedic tele-rehabilitation. IEEE Trans Rehabil Eng 8(3):430–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carey JR, Duress WK et al (2007) Comparison of finger tracking versus simple movement training via tele-rehabilitation to alter hand function and cortical reorganization after stroke. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 21:216–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hauber RP, Jones ML (2002) Tele-rehabilitation support for families at home caring for individuals in prolonged states of reduced consciousness. J Head Trauma Rehabil 17(6):535–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heuser A, Courter H et al (2007) Tele-rehabilitation using the Rutgers Master II glove following carpal tunnel release surgery: proof-of-concept. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 15(1):43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hill AJ, Theodora DG et al (2006) An Internet-based tele-rehabilitation system for the assessment of motor speech disorders: a pilot study. Am J Speech Lang Pathos 15(1):45–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holden MK, Dray TA et al (2007) Tele-rehabilitation using a virtual environment improves upper extremity function in patients with stroke. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 15(1):36–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Humbler NR, Mann WC et al (2004) The association of home-telepathic use and care coordination with improvement of functional and cognitive functioning in frail elderly men. Telemed J E Health 10(2):129–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huygens B et al (2008) Feasibility of a home-based telerehabilitation system compared to usual care: arm/hand function in patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. J Telemed Telecare 14(5):249–256. doi:10.1258/jet.2008.080104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iron L, Centennial F et al (2001) Virtual reality as an assessment tool for arm motor deficits after brain lesions. Stud Health Technol Inform 81:386–392Google Scholar
Iron L, Tobin P et al (2004) Motor tele-rehabilitation in post-stroke patients. Med Inform Internet Med 29(2):119–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jack D, Brian R et al (2001) Virtual reality-enhanced stroke rehabilitation. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 9(3):308–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Riva G et al (2007) An open-source virtual reality platform for clinical and research applications, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 4563, pp 699–707. You can find all information about the project and the software environment at the web site, http://www.neurovr.org
Rizzo AA, Strickland D, Bouchard S (2004) The challenge of using virtual reality in telerehabilitation. Telemed J E Health 10(2):184–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Robinson SS, Seale DE et al (2003) Use of telemedicine to follow special needs children. Telemed J E Health 9(1):57–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Russell TG, Wootton R et al (2002) Physical outcome measurements via the Internet: reliability at two Internet speeds. J Telemed Telecare 8(Suppl 3):50–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sanford JA, Jones M et al (2004) Using tele-rehabilitation to identify home modification needs. Assist Technol 16(1):43–53Google Scholar
Sanford JA, Griffiths PC et al (2006) The effects of in-home rehabilitation on task self-efficacy in mobility-impaired adults: a randomized clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc 54(11):1641–1648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Torsney K (2003) Advantages and disadvantages of tele-rehabilitation for persons with neurological disabilities. NeuroRehabilitation 18(2):183–185Google Scholar
Wilson BA, Evans JJ (1996) Error-free learning in the rehabilitation of people with memory impairments. J Head Trauma Rehabil 11(2):54–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zampolini M, Baratta S et al (2007) Upper limb telerehabilitation with Home Care and Activity Desk (HCAD) system, IEEE Virtual Rehabilitation, 27–29 Sept 2007, p 83–83Google Scholar
Zampolini M, Magni R, Gervasi O (2008) An X3D Approach to Neuro-rehabilitation, ICCSA 2008, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5073, pp 78–90Google Scholar