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WSC 2022 | Improving stroke rehabilitation in low- and middle-income countries: telehealth and robotics

Dorcas Gandhi, MPT, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India, outlines the unmet need for stroke neurorehabilitation in low- and middle-income countries and shares an overview of ongoing efforts to design and implement low-cost rehabilitation models of care. Many patients are unable to access rehabilitation services in tertiary care centers. A lack of awareness from both patients and healthcare professionals can also contribute to patients not receiving the post-stroke care they require for optimal recovery. Telerehabilitation is a highly promising approach to overcome many of the cost and accessibility issues faced in these settings. Prof. Gandhi discusses her work to develop a socially and culturally specific smart phone app for the treatment of post-stroke sensorimotor impairments. The app would enable remote delivery of rehabilitation, as well as monitoring of progress and responsive adjustment to an individual’s rehabilitation goals as they change over time. Prof. Gandhi’s team are also working with bio-engineers to design low-cost rehabilitation robotics that could cut down costs by 70%. It is hoped that improving public awareness and implementing effective low-cost models of care will prove helpful in overcoming some of the challenges in improving rehabilitation services in low- and middle-income countries. This interview took place at the World Stroke Congress 2022 in Singapore.

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Prof. Gandhi reports the following disclosures:
WHO (SEARO): Project Officer
Lancet Citizens Commission: Fellow (Rehab technology work stream)
Global Consortium of Stroke Rehabilitation: Founding member
Lancet Neurology Commission-Stroke rehab Pillar: Member