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Adaptive Assistive Rehabilitative Technology: Beyond the Clinic (AART-BC)
We currently have no idea what the Assistive Rehabilitation Technology (ART) patient does outside the clinic, and we have no idea how the patient interacts with their AT and RT on a daily basis. This means that we do not truly understand the compliance with, and efficacy of, individually prescribed Adaptive ART (AART), hence leading to sub-optimal outcomes for the patient themselves and inefficient use of NHS resources. This 36-month project has the imagination and scope to provide measurement, validation, and a feedback facility for a range of conditions and their associated AART. It brings together a highly multidisciplinary team with backgrounds that will facilitate the creation of a platform to provide information for the clinician, the carer, the end-user or for research use. The project involves 7 universities: University of Warwick (UoW), University of Cardiff (UoC), University of Salford (UoS), University College London (UCL), University of Kent (UoK), University of York (UoY), and Oxford-Brookes University (OBU). It also brings together the unique facilities of the PAMELA lab at UCL, alongside the three Human Performance Laboratories (HPL) at UoS. If it were possible to monitor the use of ART in the everyday (home) environment and outside in the urban environment, in an unobtrusive manner, this would enable clinicians, commissioners and medical technologists to better understand conditions, the ART, the compliance and quality of use, and allow better exploration of the positive effects of feedback to promote self-management. The project partners will develop "tattoo like" sensors to be used to monitor things like position, activity and emotional state (through galvanic skin response), that can be used to track the use of AT and/or RT in the home and beyond. The major advantages of the tattoo sensors developed in the project is likely to be their low cost and high degree of user acceptance. However, within the project we will also use additional off-the-shelf-discrete sensors (e.g. a smart-watch) to complement the data derived from the tattoo sensor suite. This approach will allow us to gather comprehensive, but unobtrusive sensor data, specific to the particular AT or RT application. The information derived from this suite of sensors will be remotely logged and analysed and an individualised condition signature (ICS) is derived for a particular user and a particular AT or RT. The ICS will then be used to feedback information to either the clinician/ carer or the end-user themselves in order for them to judge effectiveness and potentially modify use to encourage good outcomes. The ICS will also be used to characterise particular AT and RT use in the home for research stakeholders at large; observability of AT use and RT compliance is currently poor and relies on indirect methods, such as self-report. At the end of this project we will have developed a prototype generic platform (AART-BC) that uses, innovative cheap, disposable sensors in the form of temporary tattoos, in combination with other unobtrusive sensing technologies (e.g. smart-watch), and user-informed feedback software. The system will operate in the home, as well as outside, and will by its very nature be completely conformal and unobtrusive for embedding in daily life.
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