Background: Stroke is among the leading causes of acquired disability in the United States, affecting nearly 800,000 Americans annually. The identification of more effective treatments for hemiparesis has been recognized as a top research priority. Intelligent, motor-driven devices for rehabilitation, or rehabilitation robotics, represent an exciting frontier with considerable potential to address these concerns.
Purpose: This article presents a state of the science review regarding selected robotic technologies that are representative of current robot-aided rehabilitation strategies, the evidence surrounding their efficacy, barriers to widespread dissemination, and technologies in development.
Methods: Narrative Review.
Conclusions: Based on this synthesis, we suggest that robotic rehabilitation tools are neither the standard of care, nor entirely experimental, but rather a clinically innovative therapy of some utility.
Keywords: Robotics; exoskeleton; stroke rehabilitation; technology.