Interdisciplinary concepts for design and implementation of mixed reality interactive neurorehabilitation systems for stroke

Phys Ther. 2015 Mar;95(3):449-60. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20130581. Epub 2014 Nov 25.


Interactive neurorehabilitation (INR) systems provide therapy that can evaluate and deliver feedback on a patient's movement computationally. There are currently many approaches to INR design and implementation, without a clear indication of which methods to utilize best. This article presents key interactive computing, motor learning, and media arts concepts utilized by an interdisciplinary group to develop adaptive, mixed reality INR systems for upper extremity therapy of patients with stroke. Two INR systems are used as examples to show how the concepts can be applied within: (1) a small-scale INR clinical study that achieved integrated improvement of movement quality and functionality through continuously supervised therapy and (2) a pilot study that achieved improvement of clinical scores with minimal supervision. The notion is proposed that some of the successful approaches developed and tested within these systems can form the basis of a scalable design methodology for other INR systems. A coherent approach to INR design is needed to facilitate the use of the systems by physical therapists, increase the number of successful INR studies, and generate rich clinical data that can inform the development of best practices for use of INR in physical therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Equipment Design
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Feedback, Sensory
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / instrumentation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Upper Extremity*
  • User-Computer Interface*