Each year, approximately 1 million people suffer a Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA) in Europe alone, making stroke on the biggest burdens to health and social care. Improving the quality and efficiency of rehabilitation programs is one of the fundamental strategies for a better and cost-effective healthcare system.
ARCADE proposes leveraging interactive and digital technologies to create context-aware workspaces to improve physical rehabilitation practices. The project explores the use of interactive rehabilitation equipment and context- aware environments that support both physiotherapists’ and patients’ activities. This project is supported by Fundaçãoo para a Ciêcia e Tecnologia (FCT), project ARCADE: Augmenting Rehabilitation Centers with Context-Aware Digital Environments (PTDC/CCI-COM/30274/2017).
Date: Jun 24, 2019
Authors: Hugo Nicolau, Daniel Simões Lopes, Joaquim Jorge, João Guerreiro, Inês Santos
Keywords: CVA, stroke, rehabilitation, interactive technologies
The recent uprising trend of remote approaches to group physical activity has shown how these strategies lack social engagement. Following a user-centred design process grounded on the Playful Experience (PLEX) Framework’s dimensions, we developed an augmentation of video conference-based group exercise to enhance the social dynamics of high-intensity interval training. We conducted a user study (N = 12) to analyse the effect of our approach on the perceived playfulness of the experience, enjoyment, and effort of participants. Results show an increase in the PLEX Framework dimensions of Competition and Sensation. Additionally, our findings suggest positive trends in the participants’ enjoyment and effort, thus raising new design implications related to the design space of videoconference group exercise interfaces.
An uprising trend of Personal Informatics has leveraged mobile applications to help users track their wellbeing; however, these digital solutions focus on quantitative data, lacking the insights provided by qualitative data in paper notebooks. We propose to digitally augment a paper diary to allow both analogue and digital data, bridging the gap between qualitative and quantitative data tracking practices to support better awareness and reflection on health data. As a first case-study, we designed a self-tracking tool to help college students manage their wellbeing by increasing self-awareness and easing help-seeking behaviours. Next, we conducted a longitudinal study to validate the tool’s effectiveness and analyse its acceptability. Results show that our approach helped students by allowing moments of selfreflection and self-awareness. Additionally, our findings suggest that qualitative data is most useful when important events and abrupt changes to wellbeing occur. Preference for paper or digital diaries is highly user-dependent; however, most participants favoured a digital-only tool with notetaking capabilities.
Health conditions, both chronic and acute, are often accompanied by disability-like impairments that might affect mobility, cognition, or perception. These impairments are often pernicious because they are difficult to isolate, vary in intensity and extent over time, and are under-investigated. Here, we make the case that solutions to these impairments are often impervious to traditional accessibility solutions and thinking, and that new solutions are needed. We present argumentation and case-studies, which build the case for a different category of impairments called ‘Health-Induced Impairments and Disabilities’ (HIID). The distinction between traditionally defined disabilities and HIIDs is essential because an understanding that this category of impairments is fundamentally different both in cause and nature affects the effectiveness of the accessibility solutions we provide. Here, we intended to outline the ’problem’ space and elaborate on the four main characteristics of HIIDs (as we see them) to provide delineation and clarity. It is the only way we can enact on robust solutions within this problem space, being: (1) Combinatorial Impairments; (2) Dynamic Impairments varying in Magnitude and Extent; (3) Impairments as a Comorbidity; and (4) Socio-Technical. We intend to outline these characteristics with third-party cases to serve as exemplars of the problems faced. We do not provide research solutions, or indeed any novel empirical evidence. Instead, we define a place for discussions to begin. Therefore, this work is better understood as a position paper or a call-to-action. We make the case that addressing the disability (caused by the underlying illness) is often ineffective; what we need to do is address the illness directly which will in turn address the disability through their transitory relationship.
The design of graphical user interfaces has been evolving from skeuomorph interfaces – which use elements that mimic the aesthetics and functionality of their real-world counterparts – to minimalist and flat designs. Despite the growing popularity of these new design approaches, they can be challenging for older adults who experience a decline in visual and cognitive abilities. Still, little is known about user performance, aesthetic perception, and preference of older adults, particularly in comparison to younger users and traditional skeuomorph interfaces. In this paper, we examine the performance and aesthetic perception of older (65-77 years old) and younger (20-40) adults with three design approaches: skeuomorph, skeuominimalist, and flat design. Results show flat design is either slower or less accurate than traditional skeuomorph interfaces for older adults across three tasks: visual search, identifying clickable objects, and multiple page navigation. Younger adults were less susceptible to performance differences between design approaches, but still subject to “click uncertainty” with flat interfaces. Skeuominimalism did not show clear performance benefits over flat design or skeuomorphism, while the latter reduced the performance gap between age groups. Finally, younger adults preferred the simplicity of skeuominimalism, while older adults preferred skeuomorph interfaces because of the perceived usability, beauty, and trustiness.
There are over 80 million stroke survivors globally, making it the main cause of long-term disability worldwide. Not only do the challenges associated with stroke affect the quality of life (QoL) of survivors, but also of their families. To explore these challenges and define design opportunities for technologies to improve the QoL of both stakeholders, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 10 survivors and one of their family members. We uncovered three major interlinked themes: strategies to cope with technological barriers, the (in)adequacy of assistive technologies, and limitations of the rehabilitation process. Findings highlight multiple design opportunities, including the need for meaningful patient-centered tools and methods to improve rehabilitation effectiveness, emotion-aware computing for family emotional support, and re-thinking the nature of assistive technologies to consider the perception of transitory stroke-related disabilities. We thus argue for a new class of dual-purpose technologies that fit survivors’ abilities while promoting the regain of function.
In this preliminary study, we propose visual biofeedback techniques for representing compensatory movements that are commonly found in upper limb rehabilitation exercises. Here, visual biofeedback is represented by stick figures adorned with different graphical elements to highlight abnormal motor patterns. We explore 4 visual biofeedback techniques for analysing movements designed for neuromotor rehabilitation of the upper limb. Co-design sessions were conducted next to 5 rehabilitation professionals. The resulting visual designs were then evaluated by 3 other physiotherapists, each evaluated the visual biofeedback of two types of compensatory movements: arm elevation-flexion and cephalic tilt. Results indicate that although there is a preferred technique, participants suggested to design a novel representation that should incorporate features from different sources, thus designing a hybrid visual biofeedback technique.