mRehab: A Functional Upper Limb Training and Assessment Tool in Ecological Environments

Project Description:

Impairments following stroke make it one of the leading causes of disability. Many individuals with stroke do not recover complete function of the upper limb at time of discharge from clinical services. Moreover, early stage improvements may wane following the cessation of formal therapies. Regaining as much upper limb function as possible is important, as even mild impairments are associated with limitations in daily function and lower health- related quality of life. Thus, finding ways to augment functional mobility is important. The overarching purpose of this project is to use portable technology, affordable for home use, to provide objective feedback on performance of upper limb motor tasks to individuals with residual deficits following chronic conditions such as stroke. Objective feedback serves to better inform the participant of their progress and actively engage them in their rehabilitation, thus encouraging self-management of rehabilitation. We propose that coupling smart technology found in readily available smartphones with three-dimensional (3D) printing provides a scalable option to provide feedback in long-term rehabilitation and advances the current standard of care, i.e. written home exercise programs. We will build upon our current research, further developing and validating a novel in-home rehabilitation system, namely mRehab, using 3D printing technologies, smart devices and machine learning algorithms. Specifically, we will use emerging low- cost 3D printing techniques to augment off-the-shelf smart devices (e.g., smartphones) into functional rehabilitation tools. The built-in sensors and our machine learning apps in smartphones can quantify characteristics of movement and provide actionable feedbacks to users during in-home rehabilitation.


  • This project is in part supported by the U.S. National Institute of Health (NICHD/01R21EB024731) and UB Innovative Micro-Programs Accelerating Collaboration in Themes (IMPACT) grants.

    Updates & News:

  • 2018/12 The mRehab team wins the finalist award (5 out of 74 teams) in NYS Department of Health Aging Innovation Competitions.
  • 2018/04 The mRehab product starts the first in-home study in East Amherst, NY.
  • 2018/03 The mRehab student team wins the 2nd place award in UB Aging Innovation Challenges.
  • 2018/02 The android app of mRehab will be launched in early March 2018.


    • Dr. Wenyao Xu (Computer Science & Engineering) - mHealth Technologies
    • Dr. Jeanne Langan (Rehabilitation Science) - Stroke Rehabilitation
    • Dr. Lora Cavuoto (Industrial System & Engineering) - Human Factors and Ergonomics
    • Mr. Heamchand Subryan (Inclusive Design) - Product Design
    • Dr. Sutanuka Bhattacharjya (Rehabilitation Science) - Clinical Study
    • Chen Song (Ph.D. student)
    • Zhengxiong Li (Ph.D student)
    • Baicheng Chen (UG student)
    • Matthew Stafford (UG student)
    • Zhuolin Yang (UG student)


    Dr. Feng Lin, University of Colorado Denver

    Related Publications:

  • [4] Lora Cavuoto, Heamchand Subryan, Matthew Stafford, Zhuolin Yang, Wenyao Xu, Sutanuka Bhattacharjya, Jeanne Langan, "Understanding User Requirements for the Design of a Home-Based Stroke Rehabilitation System", the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2018 International Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, October, 2018
  • [3] Sutanuka Bhattacharjya, Matthew Stafford, Zhuolin Yang, Chen Song, Heamchand Subryan, Lora Cavuoto, Wenyao Xu, Jeanne Langan, "Assessing the functionality of a portable rehabilitation system used for self-management of upper extremity function by individuals with stroke", the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, April, 2018
  • [2] Tri Vu, Hoan Tran, Chen Song, Feng Lin, Jeanne Langan, Lora Cavuoto, Wenyao Xu, "BiGRA: A Preliminary Bilateral Hand Grip Coordination Rehabilitation Using Home-Based Evaluation System for Stroke Patients", IEEE Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference (BSN'18), Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2018
  • [1] Feng Lin, Jerry Ajay, Jeanne Langan, Lora Cavuoto, Ifeoma Nwogu, Heamchand Subryan, Wenyao Xu, "A Portable and Cost-Effective Upper Extremity Rehabilitation System for Individuals with Upper Limb Motor Deficits", IEEE Annual Wireless Health Conference (WH'16), Bethesda, MD, October 2016