The main results obtained in this line concern the development and application of “mechatronic” systems (integration of mechanics, electronics and information technology) in patients with neurological lesions, which make it possible to integrate the work of traditional physiotherapy with the advantages that these systems offer: repetitiveness of movement that is always the same in terms of speed, strength and range of motion, specificity, interaction with a monitor to increase proprioceptive feedback during rehabilitation sessions, the possibility of quantitatively assessing the recovery rate, and optimisation of resources.
The systems produced are all covered by international patents and the most important are Aramis, Copernicus, Intellibed, already described in the introduction.
All devices made and used on patients are based on neurophysiopathological background and reflect the principles of neurophysiopathology and neurorehabilitation experience gained over the years. In addition, third-party mechatronic devices were acquired for hand recovery and treadmill walking. In particular, through the Amadeo system supplied by TyroMotion, the rehabilitation of the upper limb carried out with Aramis is completed with the treatment of the hand and fingers; with the Geo system supplied by RehaTechnology, it is possible to carry out rehabilitation of the lower limbs in complete safety.
The development and application of robot systems dedicated to the neurorehabilitation of patients with neurological injuries aims to meet all the needs required by the rehabilitation process, from the acute phase in a stroke unit, through the entire rehabilitation pathway, up to the continuation of training at home. In fact, within this line, there is a keen interest in the use of home telerehabilitation systems obtained with the system provided by Khymeia.
When the patient is an in-patient in the rehabilitation facility, he/she carries out neuromotor, cognitive and speech exercises through the VRRS system present in the facility, while once he/she returns home, he/she will continue to carry out the same exercises through a home device connected by video and remote assistance with the therapist in the clinic. This system, which integrates technological devices with traditional therapies, is intended to make the most of the potential of robotics and not limit or supplement the work of the therapist, who assumes a much more differentiated role in that he or she can draw up a customised rehabilitation project according to clinical evolution.
Within this line, several activities are under way with the relevant experimental projects approved by the relevant Ethics Committee and, in the case of mechatronic devices, also approved by the Ministry of Health; in particular, the activities under way concern an RCT study in post-stroke patients for the evaluation of functional recovery of the upper limb with a robotic device, an RCT study with electromyographic evaluation of treatments with a robotic device a study on the feasibility of using Intellibed in a Stroke Unit in collaboration with the Stroke Unit of the Jazzolino Hospital in Vibo Valentia, where the bed is being tested; an RCT study on the feasibility of using Copernicus and its clinical efficacy for early recovery of ambulation; a study on the feasibility and cost/benefit analysis of a multi-domain tele-neurisation treatment in patients with neurological pathologies.