Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA (ASSIST TECHNOL)

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Journal description

Assistive Technology is the one journal that meets the concerns of all practitioners involved in the application of assistive technology and rehabilitation technologies and the delivery of related services. The journal seeks to foster communication among researchers, developers, clinicians, educators, consumer and others working in all aspects of the assistive technology arena.

Current impact factor: 0.51

Impact Factor Rankings

2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2009 Impact Factor 0.659

Additional details

5-year impact 0.84
Cited half-life 8.10
Immediacy index 0.05
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.18
Website Assistive Technology website
Other titles Assistive technology (Online)
ISSN 1040-0435
OCLC 61311088
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • On author's personal website or departmental website immediately
    • On institutional repository or subject-based repository after either 12 months embargo
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On a non-profit server
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set statements to accompany deposits (see policy)
    • The publisher will deposit in on behalf of authors to a designated institutional repository including PubMed Central, where a deposit agreement exists with the repository
    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification
    green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several assistive technologies are available to help visually impaired individuals avoid obstructions while walking. Unfortunately, white canes and medical walkers are unable to detect obstacles on the road or react to encumbrances located above the waist. In this study, we adopted the cyber-physical system approach in the development of a cap-connected device to compensate for gaps in detection associated with conventional aids for the visually impaired. We developed a verisimilar, experimental route involving the participation of seven individuals with visual impairment, including straight sections, left turns, right turns, curves, and suspended objects. Our aim was to facilitate the collection of information required for the practical use of the device. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed guiding device in alerting walkers to the presence of some kinds of obstacles from the small number of subjects. That is, it shows promise for future work and research with the proposed device. Our findings provide a valuable reference for the further improvement of these devices as well as the establishment of experiments involving the visually impaired.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: Forces transferred to the upper body during crutch use can lead to both short-term and long-term injuries, including joint pain, crutch palsy, and over-use injuries. While this force transmission has been studied in controlled laboratory settings, it is unclear how these forces are affected by irregular terrains commonly encountered during community ambulation. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of walking speed and uneven terrain on the load magnitude, distribution, and rate of loading at the human-crutch contact surfaces. Our results show that the rates of loading were significantly increased with higher walking speeds and while negotiating certain irregular terrains, despite there being no apparent effect on the peak force transmission, suggesting load rate may be a more appropriate metric for assessing terrain effects on crutch gait. Furthermore, irrespective of the type of terrain and walking condition, the largest compressive forces were found to reside in the carpal-tunnel region of the hand, and may therefore be a primary contributor to carpal-tunnel injury.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: Regular weight monitoring is known to help with weight management which is an important part of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. Unfortunately, weight monitoring is challenging for wheelchair users because the few scales that are available are expensive and very large. Consequently, wheelchair users typically learn their weight at infrequent visits to their healthcare providers, which likely contributes to higher prevalence of obesity-related health risks among this population. In this paper, we describe the design and development of the Embedded Scale or E-Scale which is a bed-integrated bodyweight measuring system that allows a user to measure and track their weight. The E-Scale team followed a standard product development approach to build the E-Scale prototype. Bench testing results indicate that the performance of the prototype is on par with commercially available wheelchair scales (Capacity = 1200lbs, Accuracy = 1.73lbs and Precision = ± 0.35lbs over 1/4th rated capacity). IRB-approved focus groups with 20 Veterans who use wheelchairs for mobility were conducted to gather feedback about the design, which was very positive. Development and testing results suggests the E-Scale technology is feasible and may provide a valuable tool to help wheelchair users manage their weight.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To evaluate the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a framework to ensure that key aspects of user feedback are identified in the design and testing stages of development of a home-based upper limb rehabilitation system for stroke survivors. Methods: Seventeen stroke survivors with residual upper limb weakness, and seven healthcare professionals with expertise in stroke rehabilitation, were enrolled in the user-centred design process. Through semi-structured interviews, they provided feedback on the hardware, software and impact of a home-based rehabilitation device to facilitate self-managed arm exercise. Members of the multidisciplinary clinical and engineering research team, based on previous experience and existing literature in user-centred design, developed the topic list for the interviews. Meaningful concepts were extracted from participants' interviews based on existing ICF linking rules and matched to categories within the ICF Comprehensive Core Set for stroke. Results: Most of the concepts matched the existing ICF core set categories. Personal factors that emerged from interviews e.g. gender, age, interest, compliance, motivation, choice and convenience that might determine device usability are yet to be categorised within the ICF framework. Conclusions: The categories of the ICF Comprehensive Core Set for stroke provide a basis for structuring interviews to capture user feedback. However some personal factors need to be considered in addition to the other Core Set categories.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: Sacral pressure ulcers are a significant problem in individuals following spinal cord injury (SCI) and are felt to be in part due to the high interface-pressures applied to the body while lying on a standard spine board (SSB) during emergency transport. The aim of the present study was to assess the interface pressures and sensing areas between the body and the SSB and two proof of concept spine board prototypes (P-1 and P-2). Ten able-bodied individuals were assessed on each board. Interface pressures and sensing area were recorded every minute over 15 minutes. The highest pressure was generated at the sacral-iliac region. The mean of the peak pressures on the SSB, P-1 and P-2 was 288.6 mmHg, 202.8 mmHg, and 102.8 mmHg, respectively. The mean of the sensing areas on the SSB, P-1 and P-2 was 78.2 in2, 98.5 in2, and 109.4 in2, respectively. An analysis using pairwise comparisons test showed the interface pressures were significantly reduced (p = .003) and the sensing area was significantly increased (p < .001) on P-2 in the sacral-iliac location. This study's procedures can be used when determining critical factors to guide the redesign of a SSB that reduces interface pressure and increases sensing area.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: Wheelchair users are at high risk for developing repetitive stress injuries (RSI) of the cervical spine and glenohumeral joints due to increased demands on active range of motion (AROM) when performing functional tasks from a seated position. The addition of a seat elevation device may alleviate the risk factors that lead to the development of RSI. However, there are no studies which establish that wheelchair seat height impacts upon arthrokinematic requirements at vulnerable joints. Additionally, Medicare and most insurance carriers do not cover the cost of power seat elevators because this feature has not been shown to be a "medical necessity". This study examined differences in AROM at the cervical spine and glenohumeral joint during performance of two functional tasks while seated in a wheelchair with the seat elevation feature at minimum and maximum height. Results revealed statistically significant differences in AROM requirements for cervical extension and shoulder abduction between the two wheelchair seat heights. These findings provide preliminary support for the value of the power seat elevation function in minimizing the risk of repetitive stress injuries at the shoulder complex and cervical spine in wheelchair users.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: Power mobility is typically used as an accommodative form of assistive technology allowing individuals with impaired ambulation to remain mobile. While research has focused on the cognitive development and social benefits of power mobility for individuals with developmental disabilities, research is lacking on using this technology to rehabilitate physical dysfunction. Recent technology, such as robot-mediated neuro-rehabilitation, is proving effective in upper extremity rehabilitation, but lack the movement feedback of power mobility. This article presents a case study of a client with cerebral palsy who experienced severe neural impairment following a motor vehicle accident. As a previous power mobility user, the client identified returning to using power mobility with the affected upper extremity as a key functional goal. This case study describes the series of steps that returned the client to independent mobility and increased upper extremity function.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: This study compares the time required to activate a grasp or function of a hand prosthesis when using an electromyogram (EMG) based control scheme and when using a control scheme combining EMG and control signals from an Inductive Tongue Control System (ITCS). Method: Using a cross-over study design, 10 able-bodied subjects used both control schemes to control a computer model of a hand and completed simulated grasping exercise. The time required to activate grasps was recorded and analysed for both control schemes. Results: End session mean activation times (seconds) for the EMG control scheme grasp 1-5: 0.80, 1.51, 1.95, 2.93, 3.42, and for the ITCS control scheme grasp 1-5: 1.19, 1.89, 1.75, 2.26, 1.80. The difference in mean activation time between control schemes for grasp 1 and 2 was statistically significant in favour of the EMG control scheme (p = 0.030; p = 0.004). For grasp 3 no statistical significance occurred, and for grasp 4 and 5 there was a statistical significance in favour of the ITCS control scheme (p = 0.048; p = 0.004). Conclusions: Based on the amount of training and the achieved level of performance, it is concluded that the proposed ITCS control scheme can be used as a means of enhancing prosthesis control.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this pilot study was to provide a new approach for capturing and analyzing wheelchair maneuvering data, which are critical for evaluating wheelchair users' activity levels. We proposed a mobile-cloud (MC) system, which incorporated the emerging mobile and cloud computing technologies. The MC system employed smartphone sensors to collect wheelchair maneuvering data and transmit them to the cloud for storage and analysis. A K-Nearest-Neighbor (KNN) machine-learning algorithm was developed to mitigate the impact of sensor noise and recognize wheelchair maneuvering patterns. We conducted 30 trials in an indoor setting, where each trial contained 10 bouts (i.e., periods of continuous wheelchair movement). We also verified our approach in a different building. Different from existing approaches that require sensors to be attached to wheelchairs' wheels, we placed the smartphone into a smartphone holder attached to the wheelchair. Experimental results illustrate that our approach correctly identified all 300 bouts. Compared to existing approaches, our approach was easier to use while achieving similar accuracy in analyzing the accumulated movement time and maximum period of continuous movement (p > 0.8). Overall, the MC system provided a feasible way to ease the data collection process, and generated accurate analysis results for evaluating activity levels.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To investigate the feasibility of a tailor-made neurorehabilitation approach using multiple types of hybrid assistive limb (HAL) robots for acute stroke patients. Methods: We investigated the clinical outcomes of patients who underwent rehabilitation using the HAL robots. The Brunnstrom stage, Barthel index (BI), and functional independence measure (FIM) were evaluated at baseline and when patients were transferred to a rehabilitation facility. Scores were compared between the multiple-robot rehabilitation and single-robot rehabilitation groups. Results: Nine hemiplegic acute stroke patients (five men and four women; mean age 59.4 ± 12.5 years; four hemorrhagic stroke and five ischemic stroke) underwent rehabilitation using multiple types of HAL robots for 19.4 ± 12.5 days, and 14 patients (six men and eight women; mean age 63.2 ± 13.9 years; nine hemorrhagic stroke and five ischemic stroke) underwent rehabilitation using a single type of HAL robot for 14.9 ± 8.9 days. The multiple-robot rehabilitation group showed significantly better outcomes in the Brunnstrom stage of the upper extremity, BI, and FIM scores. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first pilot study demonstrating the feasibility of rehabilitation using multiple exoskeleton robots. The tailor-made rehabilitation approach may be useful for the treatment of acute stroke.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: Powered wheelchairs are complex assistive devices that must be selected and configured on the basis of individual user needs, lifestyle, motivation, driving ability and environment. They are also expensive, which often means that providing agencies require evidence that their financial investment will lead to a successful outcome. Good practice suggests that users should be carefully assessed before provision in order to make sure that the most appropriate and cost-effective product is chosen for each; in addition, follow-up investigations should be carried out in order to check the achieved outcomes and activate corrective interventions in case of problems. Unfortunately, this does not happen everywhere and follow-up is not routine practice in many countries, including Italy. We surveyed a sample of 79 users who had obtained powered wheelchairs from a Regional Health Service in Italy in the period 2008-2013. The wheelchair prescriptions were made on the basis of an assessment protocol agreed with the local health authority, and follow-up interviews were conducted at the users' homes in order to collect information about wheelchair use, and its effectiveness, usefulness and economic impact. The instruments used in the interviews included an introductory questionnaire (describing wheelchair use), QUEST (to measure user satisfaction), PIADS (to measure psychosocial impact), FABS/M (to detect environmental facilitators and barriers), and SCAI (to estimate economic impact). The results indicated positive outcomes, especially in relation to user satisfaction (average "quite satisfied" to "very satisfied") and psychosocial impact (average the wheelchair "increased a little" the users' ability, adaptability and self-esteem). A number of barriers were identified in various settings (at home, in public places and public transportation) that sometimes restrict user mobility, and suggest corrective actions. Environmental factors acting as facilitators were also identified. In economic terms, the provision of a powered wheelchair generated considerable savings in social costs for most users: an average of about $ 38,000 per person over a projected 5-year period was estimated by comparing the social cost of the intervention (the cost of all of the material and human resources involved in the provision and use of the wheelchair) with that of non-intervention (the presumed social costs that would have been incurred in the case no powered wheelchair had been provided and the user had had to continue using no device or only their previous device). The study also provided an opportunity to develop and test a follow-up protocol that proved to be applicable to routine service delivery.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: There is limited research on the driving performance and safety of bioptic drivers and even less regarding the driving skills that are most challenging for those learning to drive with bioptic telescopes. This research consisted of case studies of five trainee bioptic drivers whose driving skills were compared with those of a group of licensed bioptic drivers (n = 23) while they drove along city, suburban, and controlled-access highways in an instrumented dual-brake vehicle. A certified driver rehabilitation specialist was positioned in the front passenger seat to monitor safety and two backseat evaluators independently rated driving using a standardized scoring system. Other aspects of performance were assessed through vehicle instrumentation and video recordings. Results demonstrate that while sign recognition, lane keeping, steering steadiness, gap judgments and speed choices were significantly worse in trainees, some driving behaviors and skills, including pedestrian detection and traffic light recognition were not significantly different to those of the licensed drivers. These data provide useful insights into the skill challenges encountered by a small sample of trainee bioptic drivers which, while not generalizable because of the small sample size, provide valuable insights beyond that of previous studies and can be used as a basis to guide training strategies.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA
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    ABSTRACT: This study compared the performance of two statistical location-aware pictogram prediction mechanisms, with an All-Purpose (All) pictogram prediction mechanism, having no location knowledge. The All approach had a unique language model under all locations. One of the location-aware alternatives, the Location-Specific (Spec) approach, made use of specific language models for pictogram prediction in each location of interest. The other location-aware approach resulted from combining the Spec and the All approaches, and was designated the Mixed approach (Mix). In this approach, the language models acquired knowledge from all locations, but a higher relevance was assigned to the vocabulary from the associated location. Results from simulations showed that the Mix and Spec approaches could only outperform the baseline in a statistically significant way, if pictogram users reuse more than 50% and 75% their sentences, respectively. Under low sentence reuse conditions there were no statistical significant differences between the location-aware approaches and the All approach. Under these conditions, the Mix approach performed statistical significantly better than the Spec approach.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA