Title: Innovation in rehabilitation technology: technological opportunities and socioeconomic implications – a theoretical model

Authors: Giuseppe Turchetti, Barbara Labella, Stefania Bellelli, Sara Cannizzo, Ilaria Palla, Stefano Mazzoleni, Silvia Petroni, Silvia Sterzi, Eugenio Guglielmelli

Addresses: E – TX – MAN Research Centre and MAIN Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33 – 56127 Pisa, Italy. ' Quality and Accreditation Department, National Agency for Healthcare Services, Via Puglie, 23 – 00187 Roma, Italy. ' E – TX – MAN Research Centre and MAIN Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33 – 56127 Pisa, Italy. ' E – TX – MAN Research Centre and MAIN Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33 – 56127 Pisa, Italy. ' E – TX – MAN Research Centre and MAIN Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33 – 56127 Pisa, Italy. ' ARTS Lab (Advanced Robotics Technology and Systems) Polo Sant'Anna Valdera, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Viale R. Piaggio, 34 – 56025 Pontedera (Pisa), Italy. ' Laboratory of Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems, CIR-Center for Integrated Research, Universita Campus Bio-Medico, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 21 – 00128 Roma, Italy. ' Clinical Unit of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, CIR-Center for Integrated Research, Universita Campus Bio-Medico, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 21 – 00128 Roma, Italy. ' Laboratory of Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems, CIR-Center for Integrated Research, Universita Campus Bio-Medico, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 21 – 00128 Roma, Italy

Abstract: Innovation in stroke rehabilitation technology is discussed that, based on published epidemiological and economic data, represents an urgent case to deal with adopting a multidisciplinary perspective. A theoretical model is proposed for the evaluation of socioeconomic implications related to an early diagnosis and early and timely adjustments in the stroke treatment strategy. The model is applied to the case of a new rehabilitation technology: the ALLADIN diagnostic device. The model compares a traditional approach – |trial and error strategy| – to the innovative one – |in progress evaluation|, considering the diagnostic and rehabilitative steps of the patient|s assistive route and assessing social and economic benefits of the innovative device. The new technology allows a precise initial assessment of both the severity of stroke and the level of lost functionality, as long as an evaluation of the expected return from different potential therapies. Moreover, supposing that higher severity of stroke implies higher level of disabilities and social costs, and that the negative impact increases as the level of disability increases, the use of innovative rehabilitation technologies would be more effective in the case of patients with severe and very severe stroke.

Keywords: costs; disability; economic evaluation; rehabilitation technology; strokes; theoretical modelling; innovation; stroke rehabilitation; socioeconomics; stroke treatment strategy; healthcare technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2009.030449

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2009 Vol.10 No.4/5, pp.245 - 261

Published online: 16 Dec 2009 *

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