Robots help stroke patients’ recovery, study finds

People who hold occupational therapy jobs are working alongside a robot at a Western Canada school to help stroke patients recover, according to a published report.

The automaton also is helping doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech-language pathologists and additional caregivers with a research project at the University of Calgary, News Medical reports. The rehabilitation robots are used to assess patients and determine what sort of impairments they are left with after enduring a stroke while also aiding with required therapy.

"For years, therapists have known that limb awareness is very important to predicting a person's outcomes after stroke. Yet we have never before been able to quantify it," lead researcher Dr. Sean Dukelow told the news source. "Identifying these deficits opens the door to the next step: how do we treat it?"

One component of the study probed 185 subjects, 87 of whom were recovering from a stroke and 98 people who were not affected by a stroke. The robot proved to be an asset when gauging limb position sense and movement.

Occupational therapists aid patients' recoveries from injuries, illnesses and disabilities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.