Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the UK. Despite substantial
improvements in stroke care, effective therapies for longer term impairments
Economic and staffing constraints often limit the success
of active therapy and therapists often find it challenging to maintain the patient’s enthusiasm in the longer term.
Evidence suggests that the greatest improvements in stroke sufferers are seen with simple, repetitive, task-specific training. Personalised rehabilitation plans with patient-centred goals and feedback are known to aid the rate and level of rehabilitation.
Technology can be used to supplement and improve conventional therapy by providing opportunities for self-practice. Modern mobile phones have great potential to aid the rehabilitation of stroke patients as they are portable, easily accessible, patient-centred and can offer personalised rehabilitation and monitoring. In addition, studies have found that commercial games can act as an aid to stroke rehabilitation. Currently, there are no stroke-specific games available and the acceptability of games to stroke survivors is variable.
Faster-GT will form a new partnership between the NHS, the University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow to investigate and understand how mobile games can be used to enhance care and support stroke rehabilitation, including physical movement and stability, as well as cognitive and visual abilities.
The key features of the project include the development of a suite of game applications designed for the rehabilitation of key physical and cognitive domains affected by a stroke; personalised features, which will be informed by a healthcare professional and designed to allow the stroke survivor to work towards personal goals; and performance metrics for analysis by healthcare professionals to support monitoring and allow modification of rehabilitation strategies based on user progress.
This project is within the laboratory stage of our innovation model and is currently in the initial stages of a DHI conceptual study with the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde.