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Promises and challenges of neurorehabilitation technology 

Promises and challenges of neurorehabilitation technology
Promises and challenges of neurorehabilitation technology

William Rymer

and Arun Jayaraman


May 26, 2016: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 29 July 2021

There has been a substantial increase in the number of different technologies that are being used in rehabilitation hospitals and clinics to help therapists and physicians improve recovery of upper or lower extremity function in patients who have sustained a severe neurological injury. These technologies include robotic devices, electrical stimulation systems, wearable sensors, and virtual reality training systems. Although initial enthusiasm for the role of these technologies was high, some of this enthusiasm has now abated, because the therapeutic benefits of these systems has been less dramatic than initially anticipated. This chapter examines some of the reasons for this reduction in enthusiasm, and potential reasons why technological approaches have not been more successful in the clinical application of these robotic systems. Finally, the chapter explores ways in which some of the observed performance limitations can be circumvented, leading potentially to more effective therapies in the near future.

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