Annual report 2023 : Sir Jules Thorn Co-Creation Centre in Rehabilitation Technology

Kerr, Andy and Slachetka, Milena and Keogh, Maisie and Sweeney, Gillian and Rowe, Philip (2023) Annual report 2023 : Sir Jules Thorn Co-Creation Centre in Rehabilitation Technology. University of Strathclyde.

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The Sir Jules Thorn Centre for Co-Creation of Rehabilitation Technology (CCRT) was set up in early 2021 following a philanthropic award from the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust of £449,000. This allowed two rooms in the Wolfson centre (Biomedical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) to be equipped with state-of-the-art rehabilitation technology (de-weighting systems, neurostimulation, virtual reality, treadmills, bespoke rehab games, communication apps, powered exercise equipment and gamified resistance equipment) and measurement equipment, to add to existing facilities. Following installation of key equipment and ethical approval from the University, the centre commenced recruitment of participants in September 2021. The centre was established as a response to the overwhelming, global, need for rehabilitation (across many conditions) and our universal inability to meet this need. The stated aim of the centre is to lead a multi-faceted rehabilitation revolution by developing a range of cutting-edge technology based on a co-creation approach with users, clinicians and the wider rehabilitation community. The resulting technology and programmes can then be made available in community settings in a cost effective, user friendly way for society-wide benefit. To achieve the aim the team designed an 8-week supervised rehabilitation program located in a gym-like space equipped using a range of integrated technology designed to holistically address the full range of motor and communication impairments caused by stroke. Through this close engagement between technology and users our team of engineers and therapists could create, design and evaluate truly useful rehabilitation technology and develop the necessary protocols around delivering a technology enriched rehabilitation intervention.