The Envisage project is about “Promoting independence by involving users in rehabilitation through dynamic visualisation of biomechanical data through visualization”. Our premise is that a biomechanical understanding of movement problems can be the key to physical rehabilitation following stroke, falls or joint replacement in elderly people. But use of biomechanical data in a clinical setting has been limited in the past because it is so difficult to communicate. The Envisage team has bridged this gap by developing software that allows movement to be visualized. We are now testing the hypothesis that “the visualisation of relevant biomechanical data to users (participants, carers, therapists and clinicians) will enhance understanding of and motivation to rehabilitation and hence produce better outcomes from rehabilitation”.
Led by Professor of Rehabilitation, Philip Rowe, at the University of Strathclyde, With Professor Macdonald at Glasgow School of Art and Professor Baillie at Glasgow Caledonian University, envisage brings together a mix of disciplines including software engineering, interaction design, sensor design, clinical rehabilitation and qualitative research. Engineers, scientists, designers, healthcare professionals and members of the public are collaborating to develop bespoke software that allows data captured by a specialist motion analysis system and portable motion sensors to be converted into clear and simple visualisations. The technology will enable healthcare professionals to communicate movement information that was previously only available in graphical, tabular or numerical form, thereby helping patients to improve their own mobility and prevent injury. The envisage team is performing five Phase II randomised controlled trials to evaluate a dynamic visualisation intervention that monitors real time movement rehabilitation in stroke, falls and joint replacement patients.
The long-term goal of envisage research is to empower patients to manage their own conditions by making rehabilitation therapies more effective. The visualization methodology is being tested with patients in home, community and hospital settings. The researchers hope using the animations will help to reduce injury and ill health in older people by improving their understanding, motivation and adherence to exercise plans.
For more information about envisage project visit: http://www.envisagerehab.co.uk
The project is funded by the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme - a cross research council initiative in partnership with the UK Health Departments.
The project runs from: Jan 2010 - Nov 2013
Figure 4. River Gems Game for Fallers.