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Virtual reality and robotics for stroke rehabilitation: where do we go from here?


Promoting functional recovery after stroke requires collaborative and innovative approaches to neurorehabilitation research. Task-oriented training (TOT) approaches that include challenging, adaptable, and meaningful activities have led to successful outcomes in several large-scale multisite definitive trials. This, along with recent technological advances of virtual reality and robotics, provides a fertile environment for furthering clinical research in neurorehabilitation. Both virtual reality and robotics make use of multimodal sensory interfaces to affect human behavior. In the therapeutic setting, these systems can be used to quantitatively monitor, manipulate, and augment the users' interaction with their environment, with the goal of promoting functional recovery. This article describes recent advances in virtual reality and robotics and the synergy with best clinical practice. Additionally, we describe the promise shown for automated assessments and in-home activity-based interventions. Finally, we propose a broader approach to ensuring that technology-based assessment and intervention complement evidence-based practice and maintain a patient-centered perspective.


  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations


    Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



    Evidence-Based Medicine
    Recovery of Function
    Therapy, Computer-Assisted
    User-Computer Interface

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.



    PubMed ID