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Professional views of using rehabilitation robotics

Professional views of using rehabilitation robotics
Rehabilitation robotics is a rapidly growing field that offers new and innovative solutions for physical therapy and rehabilitation. As technology advances, rehabilitation robots are becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable of helping patients recover from injuries and disabilities. But what do professionals in the field of physical therapy and rehabilitation think about the use of these robots? Are they seen as a helpful tool or a hindrance to the healing process? In this blog article, we'll explore the professional views on the use of rehabilitation robotics and the potential benefits and drawbacks of robotics technology in the realm of physical therapy.
Rehabilitation robot: Soft rehabilitation robotic gloves by Wyss
Rehabilitation robot: Soft rehabilitation robotic gloves by Wyss

Rehabilitation Robotics in Therapy

Rehabilitation robotics is a field that utilizes robotic devices to aid in therapy and recovery. From its early beginnings in the 20th century to the current day, this field has undergone tremendous growth and development. In recent years, the introduction of powered exoskeletons and other novel rehabilitation robots has opened up new opportunities for patients to recover from injury and improve their quality of life. You can learn more about some of the cutting-edge robotics companies revolutionizing the medical industry by visiting this article, 5 Robotics companies taking the medical industry by storm.  

As technology advances, the potential for rehabilitation robotics to positively impact patients' lives is immense. From improving physical function and mobility to reducing the need for invasive procedures, the benefits of rehabilitation robotics are numerous and far-reaching.

The Growth of Rehabilitation Robotics

Since the clinical testing of the first rehabilitation robot, MIT-MANUS, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there has been a surge in the development of rehabilitation robots for both upper and lower extremities. These robots can be classified into grounded exoskeletons, grounded end-effector devices, and wearable exoskeletons, and are now widely used in therapy and rehabilitation centers.

reblessTM, a portable active joint therapy device by H Robotics
rebless, a portable active joint therapy device by H Robotics

H Robotics, a leading manufacturer of rehabilitation robots, has recently partnered with the University of Houston and TIRR Memorial Hermann as they conducted research on stroke patients with the goal of exploring new ways to induce neuroplasticity and boost recovery. This research is a significant step forward in the growth of rehabilitation robotics, as it will provide valuable data and insight into the potential impact of these devices on the rehabilitation process. The results of this study are expected to contribute to the wider adoption of rehabilitation robots and further drive the development of this rapidly growing field.

Rehabilitation Robots Market $3.17Bn by 2028 Growth Forecast at 21.8% CAGR During 2021 to 2028 COVID Impact and Global Analysis by
Rehabilitation Robots Market $3.17Bn by 2028 Growth Forecast at 21.8% CAGR During 2021 to 2028 COVID Impact and Global Analysis by

The report states that the global rehabilitation robotics market is expected to reach US$ 3,178.77 Million by 2028, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.8% from 2021-2028. It also notes that the market was valued at US$ 798.92 Million in 2021. The report covers the market size, market share, and growth rate of the rehabilitation robotics market for different types, end users, and regions. Additionally, the report provides insight into the competitive landscape, revenue forecasts, company rankings, and growth factors and trends. The regional scope includes North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and MEA, while the country scope includes the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Argentina.

The rehabilitation robotics industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, driven by factors such as increasing investments in research and development, the growing demand for advanced healthcare solutions, the rise of the geriatric populations , the increasing prevalence of disabilities and lifestyle diseases, and the need for cost-effective treatments. Rehabilitation robots are being increasingly  used in physical therapy and rehabilitation centers because they provide accurate therapy and improve patient outcomes. In addition, the use of robots in rehabilitation has been found to reduce costs and improve patient satisfaction. This is expected to further drive the growth of the rehabilitation robotics market in the coming years.

Professional views of rehabilitation robotics

While the growth of rehabilitation robotics has been rapid, and the potential benefits of this technology are numerous, not everyone in the physical therapy and rehabilitation community has fully embraced it. Some professionals view rehabilitation robots as a promising tool that can help patients recover faster and more effectively, while others see them as a barrier to the personal touch that is essential in the therapeutic process.

One of the main concerns some professionals raise is that rehabilitation robots can become a substitute for therapists, leading to a lack of personal interaction and a reduced sense of empathy in the rehabilitation process. On the other hand, proponents of rehabilitation robotics argue that these devices can complement therapists by providing patients with targeted, repetitive exercises and helping to monitor progress.

It's important to note that the professional views on rehabilitation robotics are diverse and constantly evolving, as new research and data emerge. However, one thing is clear: the use of rehabilitation robots has the potential to impact the physical therapy and rehabilitation field significantly.

The study from Frontiers in Medical Technology suggests that the main objective for using robots in stroke rehabilitation is to increase the amount of therapy that patients receive. This is important because the quality of recovery is related to the amount of therapy received. The use of rehabilitation robots was thought to improve patients' motivation and engagement with therapy and make it enjoyable. Additionally, using a robot enabled the patient to practice movement independently or autonomously, although some participants were concerned about using the robots without professional supervision. Improving function and functional carry-over were also important objectives, but some noted that the transfer from practicing movements with the robot to functional activity in everyday life could not be assumed. Finally, robots were seen as useful in broadening the range of therapy options available to patients.

several  requirements for a rehabilitation robot to be feasible and acceptable for use in clinical practice. These are categorized into functional, software, and safety requirements. A rehabilitation robot must be user-friendly, easy and intuitive to set up, administer, don and doff, maintain, transport, and store, and it should be operable as either an active or an active-assisted device to eliminate the effects of gravity during three-dimensional movements. The software supporting the robot's function must be easy and intuitive to use and provide feedback on usage and performance. It is also important to ensure the safety of the patients using the robot, which requires an alarm system, emergency stop, auto shutdown, and simple/quick release mechanisms to avoid incorrect or overuse and to prevent secondary injury.

The high cost of rehabilitation robots was a major barrier to their implementation into practice in both clinical and home-based settings. Patients with non-motor, stroke-related impairments such as behavioral, cognitive, perceptual, communication, or visual difficulties could limit their ability to engage with robot therapy, as could pain, fatigue, skin integrity, spasticity, or limited range of movement. Comorbidities such as fractures, arthritis, and neuropathy also needed to be carefully considered before using a rehabilitation robot.

In conclusion, the study suggests that rehabilitation robots have the potential to increase the amount of therapy received by stroke patients and improve their motivation and engagement with therapy. However, several requirements need to be met to ensure that the robots are feasible and acceptable for use in clinical practice, and the high cost of these devices remains a significant barrier to their widespread implementation.

H Robotics develops, manufactures, and distributes state-of-the-art rehabilitation solutions, including medical robots and data-driven, telemedicine offerings for people who suffer from neurological and musculoskeletal conditions.

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