reha buddy improves process and outcome of physical rehabilitation for both patients and medical personnel. Our body-worn sensors and an easy-to-use app allow for objective quantification of the patients’ progress and performance and put their exercises in an entertaining and game-like context. Patients benefit by being able to leave the clinic earlier and do their exercises at home with real-time feedback. Therapists are able to monitor the patients’ compliance and results in an objectively documented form for the first time. The collected data can even be used to improve the effectiveness of the prescribed exercises.

Purpose

Improving long-term outcome of physical rehabilitation measures.

Target group

Elderly people, (geriatric) patients with/after hip fracture, hip joint replacement (TEP), knee joint replacement (TEP), meniscus tear, ACL tear, osteoarthritis, stroke (hemiparesis).

Impact for citizen

The possibility to keep track about the progress of the rehabilitation and/or therapy success will have a positive influence on patients’ motivation (indirectly) to keep doing their exercises regularly.
With reha buddy patients can not only keep track about the progress, they will also get feedback on whether they do their exercises correctly.
Furthermore, gamification of exercises will be utilized to further increase the motivation to continue training after hospital discharge.

Impact for staff

Medical personnel will be able to receive information about the (actual and data-based) further progression of their patients, once they leave the inpatient care (system).
Furthermore, during inpatient stay reha buddy provides a tool for fast and easy screening (compared to traditional methods, such as instrumented gait analysis).

Economic impact

Reha buddy contributes to improving the long-term success of rehabilitation measures (especially after the inpatient phase @ home). Reha buddy’s tele-rehabilitation measures will also make it possible to transition part of the rehabilitative process in the home area.
Both approaches will keep patients healthy and mobile longer and, therefore, contribute to shorten expensive hospital and clinic stays. Improved long-term health and mobility saves costs for healthcare providers and insurances.

Cost of product

We are still in the process of developing a sustainable business model. At the moment we assume, that we will be able to sell one of our units (one pair of instrumented insoles plus software) for EUR 1.000,- to clinics. It will also be possible to acquire bigger sets of hardware.
Another idea concerning the business model is to offer ”feedback as a service”, where hospitals/clinics as well as patients would pay a monthly fee for as long as they’re using reha buddy.

Life expectancy of product

We are aiming to provide a high quality product. Since we are at the beginning of the process of deploying a product, we aim for a life expectancy of the production batch of one year.

Other costs of acquisition and setup

Expected annual costs

Special requirements

Is the product for personal use or can it be used by (how) many people?

It it possible to design it for both.
It can be used in clinical context, where reha buddy provides set of hardware (sensors or insoles) including software to the clinic or clinical unit. There this set of e.g. 5 to 10 insoles (in different sizes) can be used on different patients. The ultimate goal for reha buddy is to provide support for patients in their environment at home. For this use case the insoles will have to be individually adapted.

Is the product intended for training purposes?

Yes. The hardware (insoles) is capable of tracking movements and transmitting this data to an end-device (smartphone, tablet or similar). There the user’s movement will be mapped to control events on screen. In that way it is possible to assess the quality of therapeutic movements and a playful context will provide additional motivation to perform exercises regularly.

How much time is needed for the user or staff to get to know how to use of the product?

High tech medical devices are new to the day-to-day medical practice. Hence, it is to be expected that a certain amount of training will be necessary.
We are setting the bar for usability and accessibility very high. Therefore, a half day to a day of training should do the trick to get the medical staff acquainted with the system.
The product will evolve into a device for patients (to use at home) in the end. As soon as that happens, there will be no more training necessary at all. The device and all its functions will either be self-explanatory or patients will get acquainted with the system during their time at the clinic/inpatient stay.

Has the product been presented before at other exhibitions or venues?

In the course of the research projects, which formed the basis for the product, it has been presented in several scientific conferences (proceedings).
As an actual product it was showcased at the 4Gamechangers festival 2019 in Vienna, Austria.

Experiences from practice

Three clinical pilot studies have been carried out during the preceeding research projects, involving some early form of the product, including 50 patients in total.
Those studies were dealing with validating the measurement system and algorithms against a golden standard, evaluating the possibility to determine therapy progress (in hip fracture and stroke patients) as well as using the technology to provide life-feedback to hip fracture patients with partial weight-bearing restriction in order to improve compliance.

Cases stories