Requirements specification for a wearable robotic exoskeleton for rehabilitation

Lakany, Heba; (2017) Requirements specification for a wearable robotic exoskeleton for rehabilitation. In: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on CLAWAR 2017. World Scientific, PRT, pp. 605-612. ISBN 9789813231030

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Wearable robotic exoskeletons could provide a solution to the ever growing pressure on rehabilitation services. They could provide the increased intensity and required repetition giving objective feedback on patient’s progress. They can also support independent practice freeing up clinicians time resulting in improved efficiency. Integration of wearable robotic exoskeletons for rehabilitation can result in efficient and effective outcomes for all users (i.e. patients, clinicians, carers, community therapists). However, there is evidence of varied, slow or even lack of adoption and integration of these technologies into mainstream practice and in clinical pathways for rehabilitation. It is important to bridge the gap between technology developers and technology users or adopters to ensure the promotion of patient centered functional recovery. We present the results of a study aiming to compile a set of requirements specifications based on users’ interviews and surveys. We have interviewed over seventy patients and clinicians to explore the requirements of a wearable upper limb exoskeleton device defined by the users to facilitate the adoption of the technology within rehabilitation services in hospitals and in the community and ensure the efficacy of the outcome.