Funded by Innovate UK and Newton Fund in collaboration with MIGHT, the IntelliRehab project - Intelligent medical system with customised exercises for personalized home telerehabilitation – is a successful international partnership between UK and Malaysia, tacking the effects of a highly increased urbanisation.
Malaysian healthcare services are being threatened by the escalating incidence of both chronic diseases and personal injuries, triggered by the effects of rapid urbanisation and climate change. Physical rehabilitation reduces the need for medical intervention, however, Malaysia with a low number of physiotherapists per capita as well as typically low patient compliance is currently unable to capitalise fully on its potential application.
The proposed collaboration, including leading innovators (MIRA Rehab and ProvenPac) and prestigious academics (Brunel University, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia), aims to combine state-of-the-art research in machine learning, sensor technology and advanced software engineering, to develop a clinically validated (University Sains Malaysia), gamifying telerehabilitation tool. This solution is designed to improve the delivery of physiotherapy, benefiting patient recovery times, quality of life, and cost reduction. It also has the potential to mitigate the ongoing impact of climate change on individual wellbeing as well as considerably reducing the carbon footprint generated by current physiotherapy provision.
To begin with, MIRA Rehab was involved in developing a new software tool which allows the recording and playing of several custom exercises, as they are required by the individual needs of neuro patients. This Virtual Rehab Room was designed to create a new experience of performing physiotherapy exercises using 3D avatars and live motion tracking. Adding the intelligent motion tracking, exercise correctness feedback and intelligent settings adaptations performed by the AI academic teams from Brunel and USIM, this tool is a promising home-based rehabilitation tool. The integration of new sensor technology for motion tracking is supported by ProvenPac, bringing higher accuracy for clinical purposes and lower costs for private home-users.
Currently, the project is in the middle of a clinical trial managed by USM in Malaysia.
In this trial, physiotherapy sessions with the IntelliRehab contain several exergames with a duration of about 20 min, while the training is scheduled for at least 4 times per week, to be performed at home by patients. For several patients who were not able to attend to their appointment at the hospital, home visits are performed, including for IntelliRehab training sessions. Three months into the trial, there is already an ascending trend noticeable in the feedback provided by the MIRA data.
It is the last year of the project, with great progress thus far, but also many perspectives for the future. The clinical trial results are very much expected and will provide many insights to the home-rehabilitation segment of this digital health technology with such a high potential.
More info on the Newton Fund: Innovate UK Newton Fund Video
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation: www.innovateuk.gov.uk