This study investigates patients’ acceptance of a robotic device for stroke rehabilitation and how its design elicits initiation of use of the affected upper-limb. Stroke is one of the leading causes of long-term disability globally. Stroke affects the brain and motor function. Patients often don’t receive the recommended amount of therapy, which robotics have the potential to deliver through real tasks and digital games. Patients and clinicians can have negative perceptions of these new technologies, which may be preventing initiation of use and acceptance of these new devices. This study addresses some of the barriers to the design of new medical technology devices for stroke therapy and the implications that may have on delivering healthcare.
Clinicians and patients were interviewed through stroke clubs. Using an existing robotic acceptance framework, criteria were constructed to produce initial concepts through an iterative design process. Prototypes were assessed with clinicians and patients to then create a final design.
This paper presents the main findings from designing and testing the prototype with stroke patients; including ease of use, how acceptance and initiation of use were implemented. We discuss a framework for robotic acceptance to designing future wearable robotics for stroke rehabilitation.