Rehabilitative technologies are any technologies that help people recover function after injury or illness. Just a few examples include the following:
- Robotics. Specialized robots help people regain function in arms or legs after a stroke.
- Virtual reality. People who are recovering from injury can retrain themselves to perform motions within a virtual environment.
- Musculoskeletal modeling and simulations. These computer simulations of the human body can pinpoint the underlying mechanical problems in a person with a movement-related disability. This can help design better assistive aids or physical therapies.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS sends magnetic impulses through the skull to stimulate the brain. This system can help people who have had a stroke recover movement and brain function.
- Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In tDCS, a mild electrical current travels through the skull and stimulates the brain of patients recovering from stroke. This can help recover movement.
- Motion analysis. Motion analysis captures video of human motion with specialized computer software that analyzes the motion in detail. The technology gives health care providers a detailed picture of a person’s specific movement challenges to be used as a guide for proper therapy.