Design of an e-textile sleeve for tracking knee rehabilitation for older adults
Byrne, Ceara Ann
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The occurrence of total knee replacements is increasing in the United States for persons over the age of 45 because they are inexpensive and a very effective method for treating degenerative joint diseases. Rehabilitation requires regular access to a wide variety of resources and personnel and, as the demand for post-operative, rehabilitative care increases, the ability to marginally relieve the healthcare system by offloading resources to the patient is necessary. Tools to enable tracking a patient’s rehabilitative progress at home are an essential method to help unload the healthcare system. The purpose of this project is to design and develop a wearable home rehabilitation device for knee replacement. This thesis utilizes design ethnography tools such as expert interviews, rehabilitation observation, a participatory design workshop, iterative development, and an idea feedback study. Leveraging advancements in technology and the field of eTextiles, this study investigates the product feasibility and acceptance of discreet on-body sensors to provide a product that enables patients to better perform rehabilitation on their own, but also to allow for a feedback loop for physicians and therapists to view patient progress.