Most importantly, robotic/AI therapy intervention provides quantifiable feedback on a patient’s progress and performance in a way that a human therapist cannot. A patient following stroke can struggle to understand their progress when performing a task without seeing gross motor improvements, like the ability to form a fist or wiggle their toes. Consequently, the patient can become dejected because they feel like they are not making progress in their recovery. The data capture and sensor abilities of these technologies will show the actual incremental improvements that the patient is making minute by minute, and day by day, because it can detect even the most subtle movements.
To be clear, the human element of therapy is certainly not obsolete. The human connection between a patient and a therapist is still a hugely important factor, as this type of patient treatment is often emotional, which is something a machine cannot yet provide. It is crucial, however, to supplement the human element with the incredible innovation of robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, to provide the best care available for this growing patient population.
About the author: Michal Prywata is co-founder and chief technology officer of Bionik Laboratories, a robotics company focused on providing rehabilitation and mobility solutions to individuals with neurological and mobility challenges.
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