Online Continuing Medical Education by MedRehabWeb

Join our online communities:




Seminar Details

Title: Overcoming barriers to best practice: Upper extremity game-based tele rehab in children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Date(s): 5/31/2017- 5/31/2017
Time: 1 pm and 7 pm EST
Discipline: Occupational Therapy - Physical Therapy
Subject: Neurologic
Seminar Sponsor: Mobility Research - Institute of Continuing Education
Phone Number: (480) 829-1727
Email Address:

Presented by:  Tony Szturm, PT, PhD

Professor, College of Rehabilitation Sciences

Adjunct Professor Mechanical Engineering

University of Manitoba

Course Description:

This Webinar will focus on an innovative, engaging computer game-based telerehabilitation Telemonitoring platform (GTP) to evaluate and improve upper limb function in young children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Many neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), such as Cerebral Palsy (CP), and other childhood onset disabilities result in deficits in the performance of fine and gross motor skills of the upper extremity.  This includes visuomotor   skills.   The ability to perform functional tasks with the UE is an important predictor of success in daily activities and participation in school, leisure, and social activities

Therapy programs designed to improve UE motor skills strive to maximize neurodevelopmental capacities and prevent secondary disabilities. There is growing evidence to support the idea of activity-dependent central nervous system (CNS) plasticity[In addition, the notion is emerging that neuroplasticity reflects learning achieved through generating real experiences, applying focused attention, simulating close-to-normal movements, and repetition For example, constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) and Hand Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy (HABIT) are effective rehabilitation programs for restoration of hand-arm function.

Many children with CP clearly benefit from intensive, well-resourced therapy services. While one-to-one, supervised therapy is the preferred form for most children, its access and financial barriers limit this option for many children. When rehabilitation regimens are prescribed for children to do at home, adherence is often low because rehabilitation exercises can be uninteresting for children and therefore difficult to sustain motivation in intense repetitive task practice. In addition, there may be a little or no support or follow-up. 

There is a need for innovation to manage rehabilitative efforts to improve compliance and accessibility. For this purpose, we have developed and validated a low-cost computer GTP designed to: 

         Increase accessibility to high-quality therapy with a telerehabilitation platform and tools designed for in-home use, and supported by a clinician specialist

          Strengthen accountability with an automated telemonitoring system that provides  timely feedback and objective, electronic outcome measures of  manual dexterity and visuomotor skills,

          Provide engaging exercise programs through fun game-based activities to increase focus of attention and foster participation (i.e. game-based repetitive task practice).

An emerging, promising approach to engaging children in therapy is to incorporate computer games in which a range of learning elements with interactive motor and cognitive challenges help children to positively engage in exercise. With the novel application of a miniature motion sense computer mouse and taking advantage of computer games   the GTP provides high-quality rehabilitation of upper extremity motor skills and visuospatial functions appropriate for young children with CP and developmental disabilities.

Assessment is a critical feature embedded into the GTP. A game-based telemonitoring application has been developed to provide a standardized method to quantify the task performance of prescribed home exercises without direct supervision. It includes a suite of data analysis procedures that quantifies player behavior patterns and skill level during a wide range of object manipulation tasks and visuospatial game activities. The automated monitoring tool was designed to enable clinicians to remotely track performance/progress (electronic outcome measures) and to provide timely feedback and other supports to the child and parent during the course of their home rehabilitation program.

Click here for more Neurologic Continuing Education Courses