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Aim: to develop a decision support tool to assist patients to self-manage their own care and assist clinicians and allied health workers to remotely assess and enhance the progress of patients in rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation Assessment Decision Support

Most chronic disease patients undergo a period of rehabilitation at their home following treatment in a hospital environment. A large portion of the rehabilitation is intended to aid in the recovery of functional ability and to enable normal daily living activities. The current practice of clinical assessment of functional rehabilitation remains mainly a qualitative and subjective assessment process by the clinician, physiotherapist or occupational therapist and not a reliable, quantitative assessment. Patients must typically travel to the hospital or clinic on a regular basis for such an assessment.

Currently, there are no tools that can remotely perform accurate, quantitative assessments of mobility and physical activity status in rehabilitation. The e-Health Research Centre (eHRC) is developing a decision support tool to assist patients to self-manage their own care and assist clinicians and allied health workers to remotely assess and enhance the progress of patients in rehabilitation. To develop this tool the eHRC will partner with device companies and healthcare providers (for example, community health hub; aged care centre, nursing home or hospital department) to acquire movement and vital signs data and evaluate the tool as part of a clinical trial.

The pilot phase in this research project is the development of a Rehabilitation Assessment Decision Support (RADS) Tool. The tool or model receives inputs from various devices. This might provide data for the monitoring of individuals and/or provide evidence over a group or cohort of patients. Ultimately it can be provided as a service for patients in their home (for example, in-home monitoring by a community and residential care service provider). It is intended to link this tool to various personal measurement devices that detect movements and vital signs.

In a subsequent phase this technology will be adapted and enhanced:

  • For applications outside of rehabilitation such as the management of less acute diseases including obesity, diabetes and epilepsy.
  • To allow vital signs data (such as heart rate and blood pressure) to be captured either independently or integrated with ambulatory movement/activity monitors.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 September 2011 09:41

 
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Dr Mohan Karunanithi

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