AI and Robotics now being used to speed stroke rehabilitation

A pioneering start-up from students at Nazarbayev University will be used to accelerate the recovery time of stroke sufferers using robotic exoskeletons and AI.

After attending an event hosted by the UN on the role of technology in improving learning and participation of children with disabilities, Beibit Abdikenov, a PhD student of Nazarbayev University, began working with a team led by Prof. Prashant Jamwal, developing the software which will change the quality of many stroke sufferers’ lives.

ReLive uses software to read and interpret a patient’s brain signals via an EEG device, which are used to control an exoskeleton of affected limbs after a stroke, speeding up a stroke patient’s recovery time. All information during the rehabilitation exercises is stored on an online platform which can be analysed by a doctor later on.

A stroke is a serious medical condition which occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. People who survive a stroke are often left with long-term problems, including lack of mobility, which require a long period of rehabilitation before they can recover. Currently, stroke rehabilitation can often take between three months and two years. The aim of ReLive is to use AI and robotics to expand the area of neurorehabilitation and reduce the rehabilitation time for patients.

Researcher Beibit Abdikenov says,

“The number of patients undergoing rehabilitation is very low in many parts of the world, with most rehab centres located in big cities. This limits the access for people living in more rural areas. This project will hopefully provide improved rehabilitation to every city, town, and village through the help of AI and technology.”

The team will soon be signing contracts with a local hospital in Kazakhstan to launch five of their devices. They are also talking with investors in India and are planning to launch in the US. By 2021, they aim to have launched 200 devices – with the ReLive product in over 400 hospitals by 2024.

Image credit: Nazarbayev University