Lithuanian researchers are developing a system for quality post-stroke rehabilitation

Important | 2019-04-29

Researchers of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) and Italian high-tech company Gruppo Fos Lithuania are developing innovative technology for the personalised care of the patients who have experienced a stroke. After collecting multiple data of physiological parameters, the multimodal system will choose personalised rehabilitation solutions for each patient.

Stroke is a “brain attack” or sudden interruption of brain circulation. During a stroke, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. As a result, the abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost. Every 2 seconds somebody in the world is experiencing a stroke, and every 6 seconds a person dies from it. Research shows that every 6th person will experience a stroke in their lives.

Stroke can cause different disabilities, depending on the area of the brain affected. Post-stroke ailments can include movement disorders, memory loss and difficulties to understand language, and emotional distress. The integrated multimodal system for personalised post-stroke rehabilitation – the product and related technologies – will allow caring for stroke patients better and more efficiently.

“Our system registers and uses entirely new functional parameters, which allows implementing the personalised rehabilitation solutions”, says Darius Jegelevičius, the leader of the project, researcher at KTU Biomedical Engineering Institute.

The hardware of the system consists of virtual/augmented reality goggles plus various sensors for registering the patient’s cardiac rhythm, movements and neurological activities. The software contains the algorithms for data processing and parametrisation, personalised rehabilitation models and gamified solutions for rehabilitation programme formation and feedback.

The system is incorporating various data, such as heart rhythm and hand movement indicators, the neurological activity of the brain, visual feedback, is monitoring the activity of the circulatory system. It allows building a personalised rehabilitation plan according to the needs of a concrete patient.

“After evaluating the state of the patient, the physician together with the physiatrist designs a personalised rehabilitation programme. The patient is performing the assigned programme with the help of the system, getting the feedback based on the parameters collected by the sensors of physiological signals. The activities and the progress of the patient are being collected in the data server and monitored by the medical staff. They can react and interfere in the process if there is a need”, explains Jegelevičius.

At the moment, the team is carrying out the research needed for the development of the prototype. The prototype development will take place in 2020.

The project “Multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation (StrokeRehab)” is being funded by European Regional Development Fund according to the 2014–2020 Operational Programme for the European Union Funds’ Investments under measure No. J05-LVPA-K “Intellect. Joint Science-Business Projects”.