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Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA

Elena Dukhovny, Jennifer J Thistle
For individuals who rely on speech-generating devices (SGDs) to complement and substitute for spoken language, speed and accuracy of access to the device are paramount for effective communication. There is some evidence that application of motor memory principles may improve effectiveness of SGD-based communication. This article reviews motor learning models and principles, including learning stages, types of practice and environmental factors that affect learning, and highlights the potential applications of these principles in dynamic display SGD design, intervention and research...
November 13, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Sandra Bedaf, Patrizia Marti, Luc De Witte
This multi-perspective study focuses on how a service robot for the elderly should behave when interacting with potential users. An existing service robot and a scenario were used as a concrete case which was discussed and analyzed during focus group sessions with older adults (n = 38), informal caregivers (n = 24) and professional caregivers (n = 35) in the Netherlands, France and the UK. A total of seven topics-privacy, task execution, environment, appearance, behavior, visitors and communication-were explored...
November 10, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Amanda K Hall, Uba Backonja, Ian Painter, Maya Cakmak, Minjung Sung, Timothy Lau, Hilaire J Thompson, George Demiris
As the number of older adults living with chronic conditions continues to rise, they will require assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) and healthcare tasks to continue living independently in their homes. One proposed solution to assist with the care needs of an aging population and a shrinking healthcare workforce is robotic technology. Using a cross-sectional survey design, we purposively sampled adults (≥18 years old) to assess generational acceptance and perceived usefulness of robots to assist with ADLs, healthcare tasks, and evaluate acceptance of robotic healthcare assistance across different settings...
November 10, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Heather C Humphreys, Young Mi Choi, Wayne J Book
This research aims to improve patient transfers by developing a new type of advanced robotic assist device. It has multiple actuated degrees of freedom and a powered steerable base, to maximize maneuverability around obstacles. An intuitive interface and control strategy allows the caregiver to simply push on the machine in the direction of desired patient motion. The control integrates measurements of both force and proximity to mitigate any potential large collision forces and provides operators information about obstacles with a form of haptic feedback...
October 24, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Joan Pahisa-Solé, Jordi Herrera-Joancomartí
In this paper, we describe a compansion system that transforms the telegraphic language that comes from the use of pictogram-based Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) into natural language. The system was tested with 4 participants with severe cerebral palsy and ranging degrees of linguistic competence and intellectual disabilities. Participants had used pictogram-based AAC at least for the past 30 years each and presented a stable linguistic profile. During tests, which consisted in a total of 40 sessions, participants were able to learn new linguistic skills, such as the use of basic verb tenses, while using the compansion system, which proved a source of motivation...
October 18, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Eitan Raveh, Isabella Schwartz, Naama Karniel, Sigal Portnoy
Regaining the ability to independently ambulate following a physical disability can increase functional ability and participation of patients in daily life. Gait trainers are assistive devices that enable body support and provide safety during gait. However, most conventional gait trainers are pre-configured to a constant position, therefore not suitable for practicing sit-to-stand function, and require assistance from a caregiver in order to mount the device from a sitting position. We therefore evaluated the effectiveness of a dynamically-adjusting gait trainer, designed to provide independence and safety during gait and various activities, in both lab setting and at home in four subjects (one female, three males, ages 32-79 years) with limited ambulation...
October 16, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
N Hoffman, P S Sterkenburg, E Van Rensburg
Persons with an intellectual disability (ID) are at risk of developing separation anxiety (SA) and, if left untreated, this can be a risk factor for the development of psychopathology. The effects of an intervention, namely technology assisted therapy for SA (TTSA), were examined on the SA, challenging behavior, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life (QOL) experienced by moderate to mild intellectually and visually disabled adults. This study aimed to determine whether TTSA reduces SA and challenging behavior in persons with ID and visual impairment, and if this results in increased psychosocial functioning and QOL...
October 16, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Yoon-Hee Choi, Jung-Doo Kim, Jun-Ho Lee, Yong-Jun Cha
This study examined whether the walking and balance ability of adult patients with chronic hemiplegic stroke are associated differentially with the degree of gain after two types of gait intervention. Twenty-four subjects with hemiplegic stroke were enrolled in this randomized study. Each subject participated in one of two gait intervention strategies: gait training with auditory feedback caused by active weight bearing on the paralyzed side (experimental group; EG), or general gait intervention over the ground (control group; CG)...
October 4, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Liang Qin Liu, Martin Ferguson-Pell
The objective of this article is to examine dynamic changes of ischial blood perfusion during sacral nerve root stimulation against surface functional electrical stimulation (FES). Fourteen adults with suprasacral spinal cord injury (SCI) were recruited. The gluteal maximus was activated by surface FES or stimulating sacral nerve roots by functional magnetic stimulation (FMS) or a sacral anterior root stimulator implant (SARS). Ischial skin index of hemoglobin (IHB) and oxygenation (IOX) was measured.Skin blood perfusion was significantly higher during FMS than the baseline (IHB 1...
September 29, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Åsa Larsson Ranada, Helene Lidström
The service delivery process (SDP) of assistive technology devices (ATDs) is attracting interest, as the provision of ATDs is critical for the independence and participation in society of individuals with disabilities. The purpose of the current study was to investigate what impact the SDP has on satisfaction with ATDs in individuals with disabilities in relation to everyday activities. A systematic literature review was conducted, which resulted in 53 articles included. The results showed that there are factors in almost all the different steps of the SDP that affect the satisfaction with of the devices, which can lead to underutilization and abandonment of ATDs...
September 11, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Hung-Yue Chang, Ching-Hsing Luo, Tun-Shin Lo, Hsiao-Chuan Chen, Kuo-You Huang, Wen-Huei Liao, Mao-Chang Su, Shu-Yu Liu, Nan-Mai Wang
This study investigated whether a self-designed assistive listening device (ALD) that incorporates an adaptive dynamic range optimization (ADRO) amplification strategy can surpass a commercially available monaurally worn linear ALD, SM100. Both subjective and objective measurements were implemented. Mandarin Hearing-In-Noise Test (MHINT) scores were the objective measurement, whereas participant satisfaction was the subjective measurement. The comparison was performed in a mixed design (i.e., subjects' hearing status being mild or moderate, quiet versus noisy, and linear versus ADRO scheme)...
August 28, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Stephanie Wong, Ben Mortenson, Bonita Sawatzky
A rear mounted, powered, drive wheel has been developed to assist with mobility for manual wheelchairs. The version tested operates in two modes (indoor and outdoor). To start in the indoor mode users must initiate propulsion with sufficient force to trigger the motor. To stop users must apply a braking force through the handrims. . The objectives of this study were to compare (1) the minimum force required to start a wheelchair with and without the drive, and (2) the distances and forces needed to stop a wheelchair at different treadmill speeds with and without the device...
August 18, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Alejandro Caña-Pino, Maria Dolores Apolo-Arenas, Javier Moral-Blanco, Ernesto De la Cruz-Sánchez, Luis Espejo-Antúnez
The objectives of this study are to determine the displacement of the center of pressure (CoP) and its association with the spectral energy density of the acceleration required for the maintenance of postural balance in different standing positions in healthy participants using design observational and setting laboratorial studies. Participants were 30 healthy university students aged between 18 and 32 years old (mean [M] ± standard deviation [SD] = 21,57 ± 3,31 years). Triaxial accelerometer and a pressure platform were used in order to obtain energy spectral density and CoP sway measurements during four balance tasks...
August 18, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Cathrine Widehammar, Helene Lidström, Liselotte Hermansson
The aim was to compare the presence of environmental barriers to participation and facilitators for assistive technology (AT) use and study the relation between barriers and AT use in three different AT devices. A cross-sectional survey was conducted. Inclusion criteria were ≥one year of experience as a user of myoelectric prosthesis (MEP), powered mobility device (PMD), or assistive technology for cognition (ATC) and age 20-90 years. Overall, 156 participants answered the Swedish version of the Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors and a study-specific questionnaire on facilitating factors...
August 7, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Keara McNair, Madeline Lutjen, Kara Langhamer, Jeremiah Nieves, Kimberly Hreha
One of the most severe types of stroke is locked-in syndrome (LIS) due to the loss of almost all voluntary motor functions and a high mortality rate. The majority of the literature regarding LIS is based on case reports that utilized multidisciplinary interventions focused on improving functional communication and respiratory care with minimal focus on motor retraining. These reports were neither dynamic nor multi-sensory, and the only technology utilized was in the form of augmentative communication. There are additional types of technology frequently used in the general stroke population that can address similar motor deficits that occur in the LIS population...
July 27, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Jangwoon Park, Kwangae Park, Baekhee Lee, Heecheon You, Chungeun Yang
The upper body shape is an important factor to be considered in customized suit jacket design. The present study is intended to identify the lateral upper body shapes of wheelchair users in a sagittal plane. Anthropometric data of 144 Korean male wheelchair users were collected using a tape measure and photography. Three lateral upper body shapes were identified by cluster analysis: convex back with largely protruded abdomen (31%), convex back with flat abdomen (36%), and straight back with moderately protruded abdomen (33%)...
July 27, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Matthew Chin Heng Chua, Jeong Hoon Lim, Raye Chen Hua Yeow
The modelling and experimentation of a pneumatic actuation system for the development of a soft robotic therapeutic glove is proposed in this paper for the prevention of finger deformities in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients. The Rehabilitative Arthritis Glove (RA-Glove) is a soft robotic glove that is fitted with two internal inflatable actuators for lateral compression and massage of the fingers and their joints. Two mechanical models to predict the indentation and bending characteristics of the inflatable actuators based on their geometrical parameters will be presented and validated with experimental results...
July 27, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Suzanne Martin, Elaine Armstrong, Eileen Thomson, Eloisa Vargiu, Marc Solà, Stefan Dauwalder, Felip Miralles, Jean Daly Lynn
Cognitive rehabilitation is established as a core intervention within rehabilitation programs following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Digitally enabled assistive technologies offer opportunities for clinicians to increase remote access to rehabilitation supporting transition into home. Brain Computer Interface (BCI) systems can harness the residual abilities of individuals with limited function to gain control over computers through their brain waves. This paper presents an online cognitive rehabilitation application developed with therapists, to work remotely with people who have TBI, who will use BCI at home to engage in the therapy...
July 14, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Cornelia Eicher, Marten Haesner, Matthias Spranger, Olena Kuzmicheva, Axel Gräser, Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen
The aim of the study was to identify differences regarding usability, acceptability, and barriers of usage of a robot-supported gait rehabilitation system between a younger and older group of patients with gait impairments. A mobile robot-supported gait rehabilitation prototype was tested on a group of geriatric patients aged 60 and above, and on a group of young patients aged 59 and below in a clinical setting during five therapy sessions. The involved therapists received 2 days training with the system and could test it profoundly...
July 12, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Isao Sakamaki, Kim Adams, Maria Fernanda Gomez Medina, Javier Leonardo Castellanos Cruz, Nooshin Jafari, Mahdi Tavakoli, Heidi Janz
Development of children's cognitive and perceptual skills depends heavily on object exploration and experience in their physical world. For children who have severe physical impairments, one of the biggest concerns is the loss of opportunities for meaningful play with objects, including physical contact and manipulation. Assistive robots can enable children to perform object manipulation through the control of simple interfaces. Touch sensations conveyed through haptic interfaces in the form of force reflection or force assistance can help a child to sense the environment and to control a robot...
July 11, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
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