SwitHome

Electrical Eng, Master in Innovation Management
António Cunha
Executive Director
Instituto Pedro Nunes

post-Stroke Walking rehabilITation at Home

SwitHome is a solution to let post-stroke patients undergo rehabilitation at home. While patients do exercises to improve their balance and gait, the system gives them real-time feedback and provides their therapist with progress monitoring. By allowing for some rehab sessions to take place at home, the solution reduces the therapist’s workload and saves money.

Origins

The global incidence of stroke is set to increase 50%, to 23 million annually, by 2030, according to The Helsingborg Declaration 2006 on European stroke strategies. Of the 12 million new stroke survivors every year, research shows two out of three experience impaired walking ability, resulting in a high risk of falling, reduced quality of life and social isolation. Our innovation includes insoles to assist in rehabilitation and improve the current, inefficient practice.

Team

SwitHome counts on a multidisciplinary team composed of experts in key areas, such as physical medicine and rehabilitation, balance and gait, stretchable electronics, project technologies (hardware and software), end-user testing, medical product design, business development, and technology transfer.

The project

SwitHome is a new solution that employs an innovative pressure-mapping insole, a tablet application and a patient-therapist communication web platform to extend the rehab centre to the homes of post-stroke patients. The system allows physical therapists to work remotely as they coach post-stroke patients and improve their gait. It reduces time engagement from the therapist, who can work more efficiently – simply reviewing feedback indicators on the patient’s gait at each iteration and defining new exercise settings.

By allowing for some home sessions to complement face-to-face physical therapy, the solution decreases the burden associated with the patient's commute to the rehab centre while it reduces costs. SwitHome also lets patients self-manage their rehabilitation, and it motivates them to improve because they share their progress with their caregivers, who can give helpful feedback.

EIT Health supports SwitHome by enabling the team to capitalise on research results – linking academia and small and large companies and creating a unique opportunity to close the gap in the last stage of the product’s creation.

Impact

Patients benefit from reduced costs, the convenience of undergoing therapy at home, instant feedback and the ability to manage their own rehab. Busy rehabilitation centres benefit from a solution that can be used for many patients, as well as increased data on patient progress. Payers benefit from the solution because it saves costs, facilitates treatment of a greater number of patients and allows better, data-based monitoring of therapy.

Why this is an EIT Health project

SwitHome is an important solution to the problem of strokes, which are becoming more common due in part to our ageing demographic – one of the key challenges EIT Health seeks to address. The project is also a perfect fit for the EIT Health Focus Area of “Bringing Care Home” as it allows post-stroke patients to do more of their therapy at home.

External Partners

  • Soft Bionics Lda
  • SWORD Health

EIT Health Partners in this project