Neurorehabilitation technology research at Southampton
Neurorehabilitation technology research here at the University of Southampton is undertaken by members of our Faculty of Health Sciencesâ€™ Rehabilitation and Health Technologies research group.
This mixture of leading academics, research staff and postgraduate students are committed to creating, developing and implementing effective neurorehabilitation technologies that will ultimately transform the quality of life of healthcare service users.
We are particularly concerned with pragmatic interventions and health economics, with a strong emphasis on long-term management. We use quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and integrate both in clinical trials.
Recently we have demonstrated a successful package of integrating basic science and social science research with rehabilitation science in the rehabilitation programme of the Stroke Association Rehabilitation Research Centre.
Furthermore, we work alongside CLRN funded stroke research network clinical trials coordinators. The network supports the evaluation of medical and neurorehabilitation technologies for acute and chronic care following stroke in Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
Importantly, in the field of neurorehabilitation technology research we have adopted a distinctly interdisciplinary approach to ensure we make as much progress as possible in as shorter time as possible.
A prime example of this is how we bring researchers with backgrounds in healthcare together with researchers whose primary background is in engineering. As a result, we can make greater strides in developing neurorehabilitation technologies like assistive robotics, for example.
In addition, we enjoy local, national and international collaborations with Medical Statistics (Pickering), Social Science (Wiles), Biomed Science (VHPerry), Engineering (Allen), RD Unit (Robison, Ballinger), Academic Elderly Care (Roberts), Clinicians.
We also have close links with Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, Ulster and Warwick Universities, and International Universities, including: Radboud, The Netherlands; Leuven, Belgium; Melbourne, Australia; and AUT University, New Zealand.
A prime example of our neurorehabilitation technology research is the study: â€˜Restoration of Reach and Grasp in Stroke Patients using Electrical Stimulation modulated by Iterative Learning Controlâ€™.
This project is the latest in a series of EPSRC-funded research into finding effective ways to use Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) in combination with rehabilitation robotics to improve recovery of arm and hand function following stroke.
To achieve this, advanced control algorithms have been designed to optimise stimulation output and encourage patients to use their own recovering ability to move. It is hoped that his latest neurorehabilitation technology research will help take therapy out of the hospital settings and into patients' homes.
Another excellent example of innovation in the area of neurorehabilitation technology is the Southampton Artificial Hand, which has been in development for several decades and is based on the concept of a hierarchically controlled, myo-electric prosthetic hand.
In this instance the â€˜intelligentâ€™ hand uses sensors, electronics and microprocessor technology to maintain optimum grip under the jurisdiction of a state driven control system. A multiple degree of freedom device is under development, utilising lightweight materials to produce a highly functional, adaptive prosthesis.
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If you have found this article interesting and would like to discover more about neurorehabilitation technology
research at here at the University of Southampton, simply visit our Rehabilitation and Health Technologies research group at www.southampton.ac.uk/rht
Submitted on: 2014-11-19 06:13:08