Professorship "Rehabilitation and Prevention Engineering"
Research and development of the professorship of "Rehabilitation and Prevention Engineering" are focused on the development of new processes and techniques which support the doctors during diagnosis, therapy planning and evaluation of the success of therapy by means of objective data.
Life is movement and movement is life. The fact that impairment of the musculoskeletal function has a high socio-economic impact, is the reason why development of new devices is specialising on the measurement of movement physiology, a field which is expected to become increasingly important in the next years due to the development of the age distribution in Western societies.
The research of the professorship primarily contains four main areas:
- Early diagnosis and prevention of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. This research topic is mainly related to the motor skills of children (especially babies), for which early therapy can reduce the consequences of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. A procedure has been developed which detects deficits in movement performance even in newborn babies.
- Individualisation of therapy. Information extraction procedures and expert systems have been developed and sophisticated which provide the physician or therapist with information about the patient’s individual movement deficits and strategies. Here not only the movement performance, but also the underlying muscular co-ordination pattern is regarded.
- Autonomous rehabilitation in home environment with monitoring of the exercise performance. The success of rehabilitation of musculoskeletal functions depends on quality, quantity and method of physiotherapeutic training. This implies that the exercises have to be done at home. As a consequence, the responsibility for the performance of exercises has to be handed over to the enduser. An intelligent training system has been developed which offers guidance and control of the exercises performed.
- Objective and quantitative evaluation of therapy outcome. Objective data about movement performance and function capacity before and after therapy are used to evaluate e.g. operation outcome or rehabilitation success.