No need to leave home: New system of tele-medical assistance for people with mobility problems
Yadira Alatriste, researcher at the Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico (UAM) designed a remote medical care system that supports the rehabilitation of people with spasticity, an alteration of the nervous system related to increased tone muscle making motor skills difficult or impossible for those affected.
The eSpasti system was created as part of her doctoral research at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, integrating computer and video technologies, which serve as the platform for issuing targeted medical therapies in spastic patients.
Such technology allows the patient to receive care and rehabilitation exercises without the obligatory presence of a physical therapist in the hospital; it can be done at home with the help of a caregiver or family member. This diminishes a considerable amount of the costs of relocating the patient, while allowing the observation of the progress in real time by a specialist.
Currently the eSpasti system, designed in synergy with Ana Belén Cerezuela Jordán, a specialist in physical rehabilitation at the Hospital de la Santa Creu and Sant Pau in Barcelona, is being implemented in one of the hospitals of the Spanish city, as a pilot program.
The first results of the technology assessment indicate a significant reduction in stress for both the patient and the therapist, since it reduces hospital transfers and the number of repetitions of the therapy.
"The eSpasti system is broadly useful at monitoring those affected, allowing physicians and specialists to advise therapy patients from home, who can send the results, either through video or by rating scales," said Martinez Alatriste.
Remote healthcare technology is supported by a web platform to integrate the contents of the Graphic User Interface. According to the specialist at UAM, this factor allows the patient and the specialist to contribute in customizing therapy, since the rehabilitation physician and physiotherapist give indications to both the person with spasticity and the caregiver, regarding which steps to follow for each session.
Alatriste Martínez develops research and scientific publications on Information Technology and Telemedicine. The project is advised by Josep Monguet Fierro, Marco Vinicio Ferruzca Navarro and Helena Bascuñana Ambrós, researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.