Funding Agency: Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (Federal Award No. 1 R1CRH20680-01-00 - Principal Investigator: J.M. Burnfield, P.T., Ph.D.)
Project Description: This technology and research initiative will increase the functional independence, quality of life, and outcomes of patients with severe disabilities arising from such conditions as stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury. The focus of this work is to develop affordable technology packages that maximize an individual’s ability to control their environment (lights, windows, bed, etc.), communicate their needs, and engage in therapeutically meaningful activities at bedside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the first day of inpatient rehabilitation. The ultimate goal is to seamlessly integrate technology across the rehabilitation environment to break down barriers in communication, environmental control and independence frequently experienced by adults and children with severe physical disabilities arising from spinal cord injuries, strokes or traumatic brain injuries. The technology will enable patients to have more independence and control from their very first days in rehabilitation, helping the individuals and their families to focus more fully on rehabilitation and maximizing progress during this critical recovery period.