Integrating Tactile Feedback Technologies Into Home-Based Telerehabilitation: Opportunities and Challenges in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

Shirley Handelzalts, Giulia Ballardini, Chen Avraham, Mattia Pagano, Maura Casadio, Ilana Nisky
2021 Frontiers in Neurorobotics  
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for advancing the development and implementation of novel means for home-based telerehabilitation in order to enable remote assessment and training for individuals with disabling conditions in need of therapy. While somatosensory input is essential for motor function, to date, most telerehabilitation therapies and technologies focus on assessing and training motor impairments, while the somatosensorial aspect is largely neglected. The integration
more » ... tactile devices into home-based rehabilitation practice has the potential to enhance the recovery of sensorimotor impairments and to promote functional gains through practice in an enriched environment with augmented tactile feedback and haptic interactions. In the current review, we outline the clinical approaches for stimulating somatosensation in home-based telerehabilitation and review the existing technologies for conveying mechanical tactile feedback (i.e., vibration, stretch, pressure, and mid-air stimulations). We focus on tactile feedback technologies that can be integrated into home-based practice due to their relatively low cost, compact size, and lightweight. The advantages and opportunities, as well as the long-term challenges and gaps with regards to implementing these technologies into home-based telerehabilitation, are discussed.
doi:10.3389/fnbot.2021.617636 pmid:33679364 pmcid:PMC7925397 fatcat:i5e2zily6ncrpgrh55fedb4pie