Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a major worldwide problem that regularly affects up to a third of the general population. In the US alone, the market for physical therapy was valued at ~32 B USD in 2015, recently growing at ~6% YoY. Besides the direct impact in the quality of life and cost of treatment, MSDs accounted for one-third of days lost due to work-related ill health and injury in countries such as the US, UK and Finland, with ~20% of leaves of absence due to MSD injuries being above a 1-month period. To help mitigate these issues, in this chapter, we describe a novel biofeedback system designed to support part of the rehabilitation processes at home, further extending the state of the art with an app-driven and cloud-based approach. This approach enables the therapists to remotely monitor the progress of the patients and near instant adjustment of the training program from the clinic. The system consists of low-cost wearable devices for electromyography (EMG), a set of user-friendly smartphone apps, and a cloud-based service that allows the patient to have a remote evaluation of his/her performance, handled by the clinical therapist that prescribed the treatment.
Part of the book: Biofeedback