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Timing Investigation Dosage Implementation

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) and its partners seek to develop an internationally acclaimed center designed to establish a rational basis for quantifying the appropriate time distribution for use of robotic and computer based interventions in rehabilitation therapy. These interventions include simple robotic devices for providing locomotion therapy after hemispheric stroke, computer based speech training for aphasia, virtual reality systems for upper extremity retraining after stroke, and passive stretching of ankle muscles to improve gait in stroke survivors. One project will examine training protocols with Ekso, an exoskeleton designed for use in patients with spinal cord injury. We have chosen to focus largely on stroke, because this is the most common neurological disorder requiring intensive and prolonged rehabilitation, and because the problems of stroke rehabilitation are systematically different from those faced in other major neurological disorders, such as spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury.

Our Center seeks to address two elemental questions.

  1. How do we distribute the therapy episodes provided by robotic systems over time? 
  2. How do therapists interact with robotics devices when these devices are delivering the therapy often with minimal hands-on treatment coming from the clinician?

Timing Investigation Dosage Implementation (TIDI) is a center of excellence established by funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research’s (NIDRR) Rehabilitation Engineering Research Program (RERC).

Our vision for the first three years of the TIDI-RERC program is to develop a framework for optimal therapy scheduling using the DEVELOPMENT framework of the NIDRR to help us to collect suitable data from a range of neurological illnesses and to develop suitable mathematical models that describe the time-course of therapy effects and subsequent decay. We will then test this framework and the therapist interaction in three studies as RESEARCH projects in the last two to three years.

RIC together with its partners at Northwestern University (NU) will design and implement a program of research and development, centered on the use of robots and advanced technologies for restoration of function in hemispheric stroke survivors.

We will offer seven projects of intensive study:

We will also provide a Computational Core facility to provide computational and modeling support of all the research projects, directed by Konrad Kording PhD.

There will be a separate advanced Education and Training project for undergraduate engineers dedicated to the design of simple devices for rehabilitation as part of NU’s highly successful initiative in engineering design education

For more information about individual projects and other RERC activities, we invite you to visit the RERC pages listed at left.

This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Grant Number H133E130019