For the elderly undergoing rehabilitation for age-related injuries and degenerative disease, specifically falls, stroke and knee osteoarthritis, care in the hospital setting is no longer tenable because the healthcare system and staffing resources can no longer meet the increasing demands. There is a need to make out-patient rehabilitation mobile and affordable, and move it to a community and home setting without compromising care.
Comprehensive assessment is required for each targeted medical condition but assessments have previously been based on subjective scales and clinical observation, which do not deliver precise data. A method to deliver precise assessments will enable precise interventions, individualised to each patient’s needs.
Foundational work needs to be done to understand the targeted medical conditions. This ranges from understanding the impact the condition has on the patient’s physical and sensory abilities and the overall patient experience to assessing the impact on the patient’s caregivers in the home.
Our research will also look at how we can detect degenerative conditions earlier and how we can aid recovery through a personalised approach to rehabilitation aimed at reducing impairment through precision repair so that the patient regains function.
The general research goal is to build an In-silico Rehabilitation Platform encompassing an open-source integrated human movement analysis (SPM1D) and optimisation framework (OpenSim) that will allow clinicians the ability to identify and prescribe optimal movement prescriptions in-silico (computational framework) for the patient. This data-driven, human-movement analysis and optimisation framework can be applied to a wide variety of neuro-musculoskeletal movement pathologies and will allow for precise intervention aimed at improving the patient’s condition. However, the primary focus of this research is precision rehabilitation for stroke and knee osteoarthritis (Knee OA) patients because these are the two most common degenerative diseases that we see in Singapore today. They place an enormous burden on the healthcare system, and this will only increase in the future if not addressed.