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Leiria wins home rehabilitation grant for stroke victims

An investigation by the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (IPLeiria) won an INOV 2020 scholarship for the development of a home rehabilitation system for stroke patients.

Taking place at the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, this was one of the 15 projects with one of the Ignition Fellows funded by INOV C 2020, an initiative with ERDF funds that aims to leverage ideas of entrepreneurship and innovation at a national level.

This research project aims to adapt ‘biofeedback’ technology to the treatment of long-term patients with functional sequelae of stroke in the home environment, according to an INOV C 2020 press release.

The goal of the research, the same note says, is “to create a graphical interface, computer or tablet, with exercise programs specifically aimed at rehabilitation of patients suffering from a stroke.”

“A system for collecting, filtering and amplifying the electromyographic signal will allow monitoring of the patient’s parameters in each home session. The stored data are then analyzed by therapists and health professionals, in order to follow the evolution of the patient, change the treatment or prescribe new exercises, “the statement said.

Marlene Rosa, a physiotherapist with a PhD in Health Technologies and a researcher at IPLeiria, said that the “main advantage of the project is the autonomy provided to chronic patients in the recovery of a stroke.”

“Rehabilitation depends in part on health services and rates are low as 70% of patients have severe physical sequelae after four years. If treatment is performed at home, with constant follow-up by the therapist, rehabilitation will be more effective and the health professional can see more patients, “he added.

The project should result in a demo version of the biofeedback program and the clinical validation of the biofeedback program. “Biofeedback is a technology that allows us to analyze parameters of muscular activity, the application of which has been extended to several areas of health.”

The team of the Polytechnic of Leiria consists of Marlene Rosa, principal investigator, and Augusto Pascoal, doctorate in Human Motricity. Kinetikos is also the external collaborator of the project, responsible for programming the graphical interface.

In July 2018, the INOV C 2020 Ignition Scholarships were awarded to 15 commercially applicable scientific research projects. The projects represent a total investment of 150,000 euros, with a maximum ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funding of 8,500 euros per scholarship.

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