Aachen University Medical Faculty, Institute for Applied Medical Engineering

Aachen, Germany

The Department of Rehabilitation & Prevention Engineering (RPE) focuses on the development and implementation of patient customised assistive technologies to restore motor function and to prevent musculoskeletal dysfunction. The strong background in engineering science in combination with an increasing expertise in movement physiology forms the basis for the present research activities, which aim to kinematic and kinetic analyses and modelling of physiological and pathological movements. Highly integrated movement sensors wirelessly connected to portable data acquisition devices are developed to access individual movement strategies outside the lab. Biomechanical modelling is used to transfer the abstract sensor data in clinically established terms providing feedback and information to the patient, physicians and therapists. Adapted signal processing procedures have been developed to extract physiological meaningful information from the coordination of synergistic and antagonistic muscle groups, which is a key issue to understand physiologic and pathologic movements and to customize therapy strategies. Different assistive technologies have been developed facilitating a self-motivated physiotherapeutic exercise customized to the patient’s individual needs. These assistive technologies comprise robot guided rehabilitation systems, intelligent biofeedback training systems for extramural rehabilitation and iPhone-based systems for the detection of limping during gait. All current research strategies are mainly clinically orientated contributing to task-oriented interdisciplinary research in the field of movement science.