Anyone who gets an artificial hip or knee joint has to spend a lot of time in rehabilitation. The offers are scarce, though, and working people often cannot make the appointments due to time constraints. The result: the therapy is delayed, there are additional costs, and there is the added risk of possible health restrictions. In the ReMove-It project, Fraunhofer and its partners have developed telemedicine-based exercise therapy that allows patients to organise their rehabilitation more flexibly. The efficacy has already been proved in a representative study, and ReMove-It is expected to be approved as a medical device by 2019.
Artificial hip and knee joints are the most frequent reason for rehabilitation measures in Germany. Patients have to undergo extensive inpatient rehabilitation in order to be able to quickly regain their normal movement. The problem: in structurally weak regions, there are often not enough offers available. At the same time, booked health programs are not attended either because the dates collide with the working hours or the trips to the rehabilitation clinic are too long. "This is particularly a challenge for working people in rural areas. Internet-based telemedicine offers can be a useful supplement in such cases," says Dr. Michael John of the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS.