Next Generation Stroke Rehabilitation: Robot at Home

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Advancing National Health

The promise to advance national health is no understatement. Stroke is the leading cause of neurological disability in the United States and arm paresis is a leading cause of physical disability, yet only 31% of stroke survivors receive outpatient rehabilitation.

“Our project addresses a pressing need for accessible, safe and effective stroke rehabilitation devices for clinical and home use for long-term sustainable therapy, with a global market size currently estimated at $31 billion. Unfortunately, current devices fail to engage patients, are difficult to adapt to their needs and abilities, are expensive to use and maintain, or are limited to clinical settings,” said Contreras-Vidal.

His brain-controlled robotic devices are excellent candidates for engaging patients and providing stroke survivors with the intensive, repetitive practice they need for rehabilitation.

It’s a medical step that certainly takes a village.

The project is funded by an $813,999 grant from the National Science Foundation’s new Translational Impacts Division, TIP Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships. Contreras-Vidal is director of the NSF-funded IUCRC BRAIN Center and Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems at UH where he developed the device. Gerard E. Francisco, MD, chair and professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston and chief medical officer and director of the Neuro Recovery Research Center at TIRR Memorial Hermann, is leading the clinical trials.


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