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  • WP’s: Self Administered Functional walking Exercise (SAFE)

     WP1: Parameter identification in combination with User requirements analysis & Use case scenarios and Technical requirements analysis;

    Coordinator: Dr. J. H. (Jaap) Buurke – Roesingh Research and Development.

    Relevant parameters that are associated with balance, walking ability and fitness of stroke patients will be identified trough literature review and input from within and outside the consortium partners. This will lead to knowledge on balance and walking training that can be applied to the SAFE training system. Close collaboration with other projects will be necessary (SPRINT Exergaming project) in order to get a comprehensive view.

    WP2: Prototype development for hardware and software necessary for the training environment;

    Coordinator: Ir. F. (Frank) Nieuwenhuis – Forcelink.

    This work package is focused on the design and the technical evaluation of the SAFE training system that will include hardware, real-time software algorithms and a Virtual training environment to enable safe and independent training of balance, walking and endurance for stroke patients as specified in WP1. Hardware will consist at least of an instrumented treadmill and dynamic stability device that will deliver additional balance only if needed.

    WP3:   Determination of the individual effect of hardware and software within the virtual training
    environment on user friendliness, safety aspects and balance and walking of patients;

    Coordinator: Dr. J. H. (Jaap) Buurke – Roesingh Research and Development.

    Applying these different components on a heterogenic patient population like stroke adds several extra dimensions to the challenge. Therefore testing of the different components, hardware software and virtual training environment of the SAFE training system will be done separately in a controlled laboratory setting using an iterative approach. This testing requires extensive piloting to determine the exact testing protocol. In addition medical approval is required and needs to be prepared.

    WP4: Integration of the modular parts of the SAFE training system;

    Coordinator: Ir. F. (Frank) Nieuwenhuis – Forcelink.

    Integration of the different components of the training system. This final prototype will consist of a set of
    hard- and software enabling safe and independent training in a virtual environment.

    WP5:  Validation of the SAFE training system in the (semi-)clinical setting;

    Coordinator: Dr. J. H. (Jaap) Buurke – Roesingh Research and Development.

    The integrated system will be subject for testing. This testing will be done in a semi controlled environment. For that purpose the system will be placed in a rehabilitation centre and two private physical therapy practices. In total 40 Chronic stroke patients suffering from balance and walking problems (Berg Balance scale < 45 and Functional ambulation Categories < 4) will be selected and randomized to either the experimental training (SAFE) or a conventional training program. Intensity and nature of the exercises will be similar for both groups. Outcome measures will among others involve balance measures, walking capacity, motivation and user experiences.


    WP6: Dissemination of knowledge and (semi-)clinical implementation;

    Coordinator: Dr. J. H. (Jaap) Buurke – Roesingh Research and Development/ Ir. F. (Frank) Nieuwenhuis – Forcelink.

    Dissemination of knowledge developed within the SAFE project trough national and international academic journals, conference contribution, workshops and seminars is necessary to contribute to the aims of the SPRINT consortium.
    It is the aim of SPRINT to develop technology and products that can be implemented in society. Within the SAFE project, a training system will be developed that enables self administered training of balance, walking and associated fitness in a safe way. After positive clinical validation, eventual implementation of the SAFE training system on a broader scale in the (semi-)clinical setting can be inventoried and possibly be effectuated by Forcelink.