Preparing for a sustainable future with personal rehabilitation.

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Abstract

The majority of sports injuries involve the lower body, particularly the knees. Roughly 2,5 million people suffer a knee injury each year. Through sudden harsh movements the knee can get damaged. Often, these injuries never truly heal. Once the knee is weakened the risk of injury increases and in many cases the function of the knee will never fully return. The goal of this project was to empower patients who suffer from damage to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) to recover faster by providing a personalized and humanized rehabilitation plan.

Inspiration and Method

Interviews, shadowing sessions and workshops were done with patients, athletes, surgeons and therapists to truly gain an in depth understanding of the rehabilitation process and how to prevent the injury from happening. This showed that there is a clear problem with the rehabilitation between the therapist and the patients. The outcome of the treatment is too much determined by the capabilities of the therapist, who often do not have enough expertise or get too little information to generate a personalized treatment for each individual. Another big problem is the fact that patients lose their motivation since they feel that they are not improving, and alone in the overall process. It became clear that patients need to be empowered and to let them know that the outcome of the rehabilitation is completely in their hands.

Result

The result of this collaboration is Ara, the smart rehabilitation bracelet. Ara continuously monitors the injured knee to provide an increased amount of insights, which enables practitioners to take humanized, and data driven decisions to personalize the rehabilitation plan for each individual. It empowers patients to take an active part in their own rehabilitation by providing live and precise feedback on their activities throughout the day.