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publicado em 15/07/2011 às 15h30:00
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Mobile mechatronic system helps therapists in the rehabilitation of radius fractures

Study of the USP is part of an innovation project that uses information technology, teleoperation, games and robots

 
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Foto: Glauco Caurin/USP
Braço do paciente é ligado a dispositivo robótico que acompanha exercícios
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From knowledge of experts in health and engineering research in the School of Engineering of São Carlos (EESC) of the university created a mobile and interactive mechatronic system used as a tool to aid in the rehabilitation of people who have suffered bone fracture. The study is part of an innovation project that uses information technology, teleoperation, games and robots. The technique was developed for patients with fractures of the distal radius.

The system integrates robots, computers, cameras, sensors, network infrastructure and Internet to the rehabilitation process. The patient's arm is attached to a robotic device that keeps track of exercises set by the clinician or therapist, ensuring its performance properly, said Professor Glauco Caurin, the EESC, which coordinates the research. The progress of therapy is accompanied by a deterministic way, through analysis of physical quantities such as range of motion, speed, acceleration and energy consumed.

Qualitative assessments based on subjective criteria, are replaced by data recorded in real time, with the historical record of treatment in an organized and accessible, adds Caurin. The games are used to keep patients motivated during the sequences of moves needed to complete his recovery. The use of the internet allows patient and therapist may be in different places and still continue to work without loss of quality.

After the experiments in the laboratory, the teacher of the EESC has been for a year at Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics Human Rehabilitation (USA) to develop the application system in hospitals. The laboratory has much experience in the clinical use of his robots, used by more than 600 patients, and issues such as ensuring patient safety, he says. The establishment of new rehabilitation protocols for the use of robots are already a reality and Brazil can not be left behind.

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According Caurin, with the help of robots therapists may be relieved of most of the physical work they perform, and can focus on performance monitoring of the patient to change the parameters and program the robot, in order to extract the best results of recovery. The health system requires the attendance of an increasing number of people in less time and with more quality points. The solution is to use new technologies and increase productivity.

The teacher points out that the concept of robotics project turns to cooperation and not for replacement. The robot cooperates with the therapist, becomes an assistant. The therapist's role is indispensable in the process. However, there is a productivity gain, says. The robot also cooperates with the patient, but the assistive technologies are not adopted, being necessary to perform the exercise so that there is cooperation.

The use of the rehabilitation was chosen to show its potential in improving the quality of life. With the success in the first experiments, it opens the possibility that the same technology is used in other specific types of rehabilitation, says the professor. It is possible to imagine a future kind of academy of robots, each devoted to a different problem.

Research on rehabilitation of the system was developed radius fractures by Gisele Gonçalves Ito, Master's dissertation presented at the EESC. The study will continue in the doctoral students' projects Ricardo Cezar de Oliveira and Kleber Joaquim Andrade, focused in the areas of data analysis and game development. The three researchers published a scientific article A Robotic System for Rehabilitation of Distal Radius Fracture using Games, winner of the best papers presented at the IX Brazilian Symposium on Games and Digital Entertainment, held in October last year in Florianópolis (Santa Catarina).

Studies in the Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics Human Rehabilitation, located in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, were supported by the Research Support Foundation of São Paulo (FAPESP). The work also had the collaboration of the National Institute of Science and Technology Critical Embedded Systems (INCT-SEC), created by the Ministry of Science and Technology based at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Computing of San Carlos (ICMC) at USP.

Source: USP
   Palavras-chave:   Rehabilitation    Mechatronic system    USP    Fractures   
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