The number of people living with various grades of disability is now in excess of 1 billion. A significant portion of this population is dependent on caregivers and unable to access or afford therapy. This emerging healthcare challenge coincides with new knowledge about the self-learning, self-organizing, neuroplastic nature of the brain, offering hope to those trying to regain independence after disability. As conditions such as stroke and dementia begin to affect more and more people in the younger age groups, there is an urgent, global need for a connected rehabilitation solution that leverages the advantages of neuroplasticity to restore cognitive and physical function. This chapter explains a novel approach using a Synergistic Physio-Neuro learning model (SynPhNe learning model), which mimics how babies learn. This learning model has been embedded into a wearable, biofeedback device that can be used to restore function after stroke, injury, the degenerative effects of aging or a childhood learning disability. This chapter enumerates the clinical studies conducted with adult stroke patients in two scenarios—with therapist supervision and with lay person supervision. The results indicate that such a learning model is effective and promises to be an accessible and affordable solution for patients striving for independence.
Part of the book: Assistive and Rehabilitation Engineering