A rehabilitation-through-photographing support system for muscular dystrophy patients
Authors: Yuta Sato, Yasushi Kambayashi
Abstract: We propose a system that helps patients of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy to take photos as a part of rehabilitations. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive disease. The disease makes it difficult for patients to walk as their muscles contract and their muscles progressively lose strength.Since the condition of the progresses of the disease and the experience of daily life is different from each other for variety of patients, it is important for caregiver to pay attention not only to physical functions but also to psychological aspects of the patients. Rehabilitation should be based on a holistic perspective. However, functional training tends to focus too much on physical function recovery. Thus, rehabilitation has paid little consideration to the psychological aspect. To alleviate this problem and foster a sense of self-affirmation, we designed and implemented a rehabilitation system that addresses the psychological aspects of Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients by having them act autonomic in rehabilitation. Research scientists of nursing have found that the two factors of "self-initiated subject search" and "photography based on internal evaluation criteria" are important for the quality of life of patients as well as their rehabilitations. The two factors, "subject search" and "acting based on internal evaluation criteria" bring positive psychological effects to the patients through the autonomy of the photographing. In order to elucidate the neural basis of the positive psychological effects mediated by autonomy, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the effects of photography on the psychological mal-adjustment patients brought about by the autonomic actions. In other words, the neural basis behind the positive psychological effect of the act of photography was demonstrated. It is conceivable that the process of taking photographs, i.e., the actions of searching for a subject and pressing the shutter, can improve the psychological stability of patients with muscular dystrophy. The two actions have a combined psychological effect due to the autonomy of the action-takers. On the psychological side, patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy can expand their range of activities for photography and develop curiosity and ambition by taking photos by his own will and force, in contrast to doing monotonic functional training. Taking photos by their own muscle help their psychological well-being as well as rehabilitate their arm and hand muscles. In addition, our system provides semi-automatic management of photos to reduce the burden on caregivers. The system consists of a device that is attached on the user’s wheelchairs to assist taking photos and an application software to send the photos to caregivers. In order to adapt to the muscular dystrophy patients that have weak muscle, we employed a home video game console controller to manipulate the camera in order to press the shutter button. We designed this device easy to use for muscular dystrophy patients to change the directions and angles of the camera and to capture the subject with their weak muscle forces. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of our system, we have conduct experiences of the system and succeeded to obtain favorable outcome.
Keywords: Nursing-Care Assistant Robot, Human-Robot Interaction, Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
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