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Wearable technology to improve motor skills of patients

Staff Reporter/Dubai
Filed on March 3, 2018 | Last updated on March 3, 2018 at 08.20 pm
The Dubai Health Authority’s sensor-augmented physiotherapy and rehabilitation initiative displayed at CityWalk Dubai.
The Dubai Health Authority's sensor-augmented physiotherapy and rehabilitation initiative displayed at CityWalk Dubai.

The technology, called Arcus is currently in the pilot phase at Rashid Hospital and Latifa Hospital.

In a bid to provide people suffering from disabilities with the ability to lead an active and healthy life, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has put on display the latest technology in physiotherapy and rehabilitation during its participation in the UAE Innovation Month 2018.

The UAE Innovation Month, that seeks to celebrate the best in ideas on innovation from the government and private sectors as well as from the public, was organised under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The DHA's sensor-augmented physiotherapy and rehabilitation initiative, which was showcased at the DHA's Innovation Hub in City Walk Dubai.

It incorporates the world's most advanced wireless motion capture technology that consists of highly precise wearable motion sensors that provide real-time visualisations of motor functions in patients.

Mai Al Dossari, head of the policy and strategy department at DHA, said: "If a patient underwent a knee replacement surgery and needs three months of physiotherapy, he or she is unlikely to remain committed to the exercises provided by the therapist at home, as they would not know what to do without the therapist.

"Providing a technology that aids patients in committing to their physiotherapy exercises is important as physiotherapy can make a difference in an individual's lifestyle."

For many seniors, disabled or chronically ill people, physiotherapy is the key to restoring and maintaining a level of physical function that permits independent living. Physiotherapy benefits include decreasing pain, improving joint mobility, increasing strength and coordination and improved cardio-respiratory function.

The technology, called Arcus is currently in the pilot phase at Rashid Hospital and Latifa Hospital. Nathan Ramasarma, co-founder and CEO of ArcSecond, Inc. said Arcus can be worn over clothing or integrated seamlessly into smart apparel or accessories such as braces. Patients can visualise their exercises real-time on a client such as a tablet computer or a smartphone without having to download or install custom applications on them.

In addition to recording exercise sessions real-time, Arcus provides keen insights based on the patient's progress over time. Therapists can select custom exercise protocols and set functional goals for each patient remotely. Subjective feedback from patients such as muscle strength and pain are recorded during each session to provide additional perspectives to the therapist in order to fine-tune exercise protocols for each patient.

He concluded by stating that this technology was created to ultimately improve patient engagement, lower drop-out ratios, and hence improving patient's quality of life by aiding them to lead an independent and active life.

asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com


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