How a diverse research ecosystem has generated new rehabilitation technologies: Review of NIDILRR's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers

David J. Reinkensmeyer, Sarah Blackstone, Cathy Bodine, John Brabyn, David Brienza, Kevin Caves, Frank DeRuyter, Edmund Durfee, Stefania Fatone, Geoff Fernie, Steven Gard, Patricia Karg, Todd A. Kuiken, Gerald F. Harris, Mike Jones, Yue Li, Jordana Maisel, Michael McCue, Michelle A. Meade, Helena MitchellTracy L. Mitzner, James L. Patton, Philip S. Requejo, James H. Rimmer, Wendy A. Rogers, W. Zev Rymer, Jon A. Sanford, Lawrence Schneider, Levin Sliker, Stephen Sprigle, Aaron Steinfeld, Edward Steinfeld, Gregg Vanderheiden, Carolee Winstein, Li Qun Zhang, Thomas Corfman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Over 50 million United States citizens (1 in 6 people in the US) have a developmental, acquired, or degenerative disability. The average US citizen can expect to live 20% of his or her life with a disability. Rehabilitation technologies play a major role in improving the quality of life for people with a disability, yet widespread and highly challenging needs remain. Within the US, a major effort aimed at the creation and evaluation of rehabilitation technology has been the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. As envisioned at their conception by a panel of the National Academy of Science in 1970, these centers were intended to take a "total approach to rehabilitation", combining medicine, engineering, and related science, to improve the quality of life of individuals with a disability. Here, we review the scope, achievements, and ongoing projects of an unbiased sample of 19 currently active or recently terminated RERCs. Specifically, for each center, we briefly explain the needs it targets, summarize key historical advances, identify emerging innovations, and consider future directions. Our assessment from this review is that the RERC program indeed involves a multidisciplinary approach, with 36 professional fields involved, although 70% of research and development staff are in engineering fields, 23% in clinical fields, and only 7% in basic science fields; significantly, 11% of the professional staff have a disability related to their research. We observe that the RERC program has substantially diversified the scope of its work since the 1970's, addressing more types of disabilities using more technologies, and, in particular, often now focusing on information technologies. RERC work also now often views users as integrated into an interdependent society through technologies that both people with and without disabilities co-use (such as the internet, wireless communication, and architecture). In addition, RERC research has evolved to view users as able at improving outcomes through learning, exercise, and plasticity (rather than being static), which can be optimally timed. We provide examples of rehabilitation technology innovation produced by the RERCs that illustrate this increasingly diversifying scope and evolving perspective. We conclude by discussing growth opportunities and possible future directions of the RERC program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109
JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 6 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Ecosystem
Rehabilitation
Technology
Research
Disabled Persons
Quality of Life
Rehabilitation Research
Independent Living
Internet
Communication
Medicine
Learning
Exercise
Growth

Keywords

  • Disability
  • Rehabilitation engineering
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Informatics

Cite this

How a diverse research ecosystem has generated new rehabilitation technologies : Review of NIDILRR's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers. / Reinkensmeyer, David J.; Blackstone, Sarah; Bodine, Cathy; Brabyn, John; Brienza, David; Caves, Kevin; DeRuyter, Frank; Durfee, Edmund; Fatone, Stefania; Fernie, Geoff; Gard, Steven; Karg, Patricia; Kuiken, Todd A.; Harris, Gerald F.; Jones, Mike; Li, Yue; Maisel, Jordana; McCue, Michael; Meade, Michelle A.; Mitchell, Helena; Mitzner, Tracy L.; Patton, James L.; Requejo, Philip S.; Rimmer, James H.; Rogers, Wendy A.; Zev Rymer, W.; Sanford, Jon A.; Schneider, Lawrence; Sliker, Levin; Sprigle, Stephen; Steinfeld, Aaron; Steinfeld, Edward; Vanderheiden, Gregg; Winstein, Carolee; Zhang, Li Qun; Corfman, Thomas.

In: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, Vol. 14, No. 1, 109, 06.11.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Reinkensmeyer, DJ, Blackstone, S, Bodine, C, Brabyn, J, Brienza, D, Caves, K, DeRuyter, F, Durfee, E, Fatone, S, Fernie, G, Gard, S, Karg, P, Kuiken, TA, Harris, GF, Jones, M, Li, Y, Maisel, J, McCue, M, Meade, MA, Mitchell, H, Mitzner, TL, Patton, JL, Requejo, PS, Rimmer, JH, Rogers, WA, Zev Rymer, W, Sanford, JA, Schneider, L, Sliker, L, Sprigle, S, Steinfeld, A, Steinfeld, E, Vanderheiden, G, Winstein, C, Zhang, LQ & Corfman, T 2017, 'How a diverse research ecosystem has generated new rehabilitation technologies: Review of NIDILRR's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers', Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, vol. 14, no. 1, 109. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12984-017-0321-3
Reinkensmeyer, David J. ; Blackstone, Sarah ; Bodine, Cathy ; Brabyn, John ; Brienza, David ; Caves, Kevin ; DeRuyter, Frank ; Durfee, Edmund ; Fatone, Stefania ; Fernie, Geoff ; Gard, Steven ; Karg, Patricia ; Kuiken, Todd A. ; Harris, Gerald F. ; Jones, Mike ; Li, Yue ; Maisel, Jordana ; McCue, Michael ; Meade, Michelle A. ; Mitchell, Helena ; Mitzner, Tracy L. ; Patton, James L. ; Requejo, Philip S. ; Rimmer, James H. ; Rogers, Wendy A. ; Zev Rymer, W. ; Sanford, Jon A. ; Schneider, Lawrence ; Sliker, Levin ; Sprigle, Stephen ; Steinfeld, Aaron ; Steinfeld, Edward ; Vanderheiden, Gregg ; Winstein, Carolee ; Zhang, Li Qun ; Corfman, Thomas. / How a diverse research ecosystem has generated new rehabilitation technologies : Review of NIDILRR's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers. In: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. 2017 ; Vol. 14, No. 1.
@article{fc7d68b98d5a42bea58ee7d6cd8c7870,
title = "How a diverse research ecosystem has generated new rehabilitation technologies: Review of NIDILRR's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers",
abstract = "Over 50 million United States citizens (1 in 6 people in the US) have a developmental, acquired, or degenerative disability. The average US citizen can expect to live 20{\%} of his or her life with a disability. Rehabilitation technologies play a major role in improving the quality of life for people with a disability, yet widespread and highly challenging needs remain. Within the US, a major effort aimed at the creation and evaluation of rehabilitation technology has been the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. As envisioned at their conception by a panel of the National Academy of Science in 1970, these centers were intended to take a {"}total approach to rehabilitation{"}, combining medicine, engineering, and related science, to improve the quality of life of individuals with a disability. Here, we review the scope, achievements, and ongoing projects of an unbiased sample of 19 currently active or recently terminated RERCs. Specifically, for each center, we briefly explain the needs it targets, summarize key historical advances, identify emerging innovations, and consider future directions. Our assessment from this review is that the RERC program indeed involves a multidisciplinary approach, with 36 professional fields involved, although 70{\%} of research and development staff are in engineering fields, 23{\%} in clinical fields, and only 7{\%} in basic science fields; significantly, 11{\%} of the professional staff have a disability related to their research. We observe that the RERC program has substantially diversified the scope of its work since the 1970's, addressing more types of disabilities using more technologies, and, in particular, often now focusing on information technologies. RERC work also now often views users as integrated into an interdependent society through technologies that both people with and without disabilities co-use (such as the internet, wireless communication, and architecture). In addition, RERC research has evolved to view users as able at improving outcomes through learning, exercise, and plasticity (rather than being static), which can be optimally timed. We provide examples of rehabilitation technology innovation produced by the RERCs that illustrate this increasingly diversifying scope and evolving perspective. We conclude by discussing growth opportunities and possible future directions of the RERC program.",
keywords = "Disability, Rehabilitation engineering, Technology",
author = "Reinkensmeyer, {David J.} and Sarah Blackstone and Cathy Bodine and John Brabyn and David Brienza and Kevin Caves and Frank DeRuyter and Edmund Durfee and Stefania Fatone and Geoff Fernie and Steven Gard and Patricia Karg and Kuiken, {Todd A.} and Harris, {Gerald F.} and Mike Jones and Yue Li and Jordana Maisel and Michael McCue and Meade, {Michelle A.} and Helena Mitchell and Mitzner, {Tracy L.} and Patton, {James L.} and Requejo, {Philip S.} and Rimmer, {James H.} and Rogers, {Wendy A.} and {Zev Rymer}, W. and Sanford, {Jon A.} and Lawrence Schneider and Levin Sliker and Stephen Sprigle and Aaron Steinfeld and Edward Steinfeld and Gregg Vanderheiden and Carolee Winstein and Zhang, {Li Qun} and Thomas Corfman",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "6",
doi = "10.1186/s12984-017-0321-3",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "14",
journal = "Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation",
issn = "1743-0003",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - How a diverse research ecosystem has generated new rehabilitation technologies

T2 - Review of NIDILRR's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers

AU - Reinkensmeyer, David J.

AU - Blackstone, Sarah

AU - Bodine, Cathy

AU - Brabyn, John

AU - Brienza, David

AU - Caves, Kevin

AU - DeRuyter, Frank

AU - Durfee, Edmund

AU - Fatone, Stefania

AU - Fernie, Geoff

AU - Gard, Steven

AU - Karg, Patricia

AU - Kuiken, Todd A.

AU - Harris, Gerald F.

AU - Jones, Mike

AU - Li, Yue

AU - Maisel, Jordana

AU - McCue, Michael

AU - Meade, Michelle A.

AU - Mitchell, Helena

AU - Mitzner, Tracy L.

AU - Patton, James L.

AU - Requejo, Philip S.

AU - Rimmer, James H.

AU - Rogers, Wendy A.

AU - Zev Rymer, W.

AU - Sanford, Jon A.

AU - Schneider, Lawrence

AU - Sliker, Levin

AU - Sprigle, Stephen

AU - Steinfeld, Aaron

AU - Steinfeld, Edward

AU - Vanderheiden, Gregg

AU - Winstein, Carolee

AU - Zhang, Li Qun

AU - Corfman, Thomas

PY - 2017/11/6

Y1 - 2017/11/6

N2 - Over 50 million United States citizens (1 in 6 people in the US) have a developmental, acquired, or degenerative disability. The average US citizen can expect to live 20% of his or her life with a disability. Rehabilitation technologies play a major role in improving the quality of life for people with a disability, yet widespread and highly challenging needs remain. Within the US, a major effort aimed at the creation and evaluation of rehabilitation technology has been the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. As envisioned at their conception by a panel of the National Academy of Science in 1970, these centers were intended to take a "total approach to rehabilitation", combining medicine, engineering, and related science, to improve the quality of life of individuals with a disability. Here, we review the scope, achievements, and ongoing projects of an unbiased sample of 19 currently active or recently terminated RERCs. Specifically, for each center, we briefly explain the needs it targets, summarize key historical advances, identify emerging innovations, and consider future directions. Our assessment from this review is that the RERC program indeed involves a multidisciplinary approach, with 36 professional fields involved, although 70% of research and development staff are in engineering fields, 23% in clinical fields, and only 7% in basic science fields; significantly, 11% of the professional staff have a disability related to their research. We observe that the RERC program has substantially diversified the scope of its work since the 1970's, addressing more types of disabilities using more technologies, and, in particular, often now focusing on information technologies. RERC work also now often views users as integrated into an interdependent society through technologies that both people with and without disabilities co-use (such as the internet, wireless communication, and architecture). In addition, RERC research has evolved to view users as able at improving outcomes through learning, exercise, and plasticity (rather than being static), which can be optimally timed. We provide examples of rehabilitation technology innovation produced by the RERCs that illustrate this increasingly diversifying scope and evolving perspective. We conclude by discussing growth opportunities and possible future directions of the RERC program.

AB - Over 50 million United States citizens (1 in 6 people in the US) have a developmental, acquired, or degenerative disability. The average US citizen can expect to live 20% of his or her life with a disability. Rehabilitation technologies play a major role in improving the quality of life for people with a disability, yet widespread and highly challenging needs remain. Within the US, a major effort aimed at the creation and evaluation of rehabilitation technology has been the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. As envisioned at their conception by a panel of the National Academy of Science in 1970, these centers were intended to take a "total approach to rehabilitation", combining medicine, engineering, and related science, to improve the quality of life of individuals with a disability. Here, we review the scope, achievements, and ongoing projects of an unbiased sample of 19 currently active or recently terminated RERCs. Specifically, for each center, we briefly explain the needs it targets, summarize key historical advances, identify emerging innovations, and consider future directions. Our assessment from this review is that the RERC program indeed involves a multidisciplinary approach, with 36 professional fields involved, although 70% of research and development staff are in engineering fields, 23% in clinical fields, and only 7% in basic science fields; significantly, 11% of the professional staff have a disability related to their research. We observe that the RERC program has substantially diversified the scope of its work since the 1970's, addressing more types of disabilities using more technologies, and, in particular, often now focusing on information technologies. RERC work also now often views users as integrated into an interdependent society through technologies that both people with and without disabilities co-use (such as the internet, wireless communication, and architecture). In addition, RERC research has evolved to view users as able at improving outcomes through learning, exercise, and plasticity (rather than being static), which can be optimally timed. We provide examples of rehabilitation technology innovation produced by the RERCs that illustrate this increasingly diversifying scope and evolving perspective. We conclude by discussing growth opportunities and possible future directions of the RERC program.

KW - Disability

KW - Rehabilitation engineering

KW - Technology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85032982857&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85032982857&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s12984-017-0321-3

DO - 10.1186/s12984-017-0321-3

M3 - Review article

C2 - 29110728

AN - SCOPUS:85032982857

VL - 14

JO - Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation

JF - Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation

SN - 1743-0003

IS - 1

M1 - 109

ER -