Tele-rehabilitation platform, a total knee arthroplasty prototype study

  • Tom Gerards

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Long term conditions are the biggest challenge facing the NHS and a reablement paradigm shift is pursued as a solution. Rehabilitation services are to deliver this new way of doing things that focusses [sic] on prevention and restoration of lost function to keep care from becoming unaffordable. Unfortunately the rehabilitation services are already overburdened and cannot deliver sufficient rehabilitation to people with long term conditions. This insufficiency increases cost of care as it is part of a re-admission cycle. Breaking this cycle and also driving the paradigm shift would require a greatly increased amount of rehabilitation to be delivered. This could be accomplished by the use of tele-rehabilitation (TR), the use of ICT to deliver the service of rehabilitation by distance. This would save resources wasted ontravelling, but TR can also provide functions such as biofeedback, that enables patients to do exercises unsupervised, greatly increasing the amount of exercise they could do. For TR to be used in practice, a TR platform that can be used at a large scale is required. This technology had so far not been developed so the aim of this work was to develop a prototype and test if it meets all requirements for use at a large scale. For this prototype post total knee arthroplasty rehabilitation was chosen, although the platform has generic value thanks to its modularity and flexibility. Additional required properties and functions were uncovered, a development model chosen, a design method chosen and several versions of hardware and software developed as part of this iterative design method. Clinicians were interviewed, a new type of electro-goniometer was developed and its performance tested, and a usability study performed to confirm that the platform is easy to use for patients. It was found that the platform meets all demands and that it is therefore currently technologically possible to implement TR into practice. However, there are many more barriers before a TR service can be set up.
Date of Award9 Nov 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsEPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
SupervisorPhilip Rowe (Supervisor) & Andy Kerr (Supervisor)

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