Augmented reality-based rehabilitation of gait impairments: Case report


Held, J.P.O. et al.



JMIR mHealth and uHealth

Tipo de publicación

Artículo de revista



Palabras clave

HoloLens 2, gait, rehabilitation, stroke, augmented reality, sensors


Background: Gait and balance impairments are common in neurological diseases, including stroke, and negatively affect patients' quality of life. Improving balance and gait are among the main goals of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is mainly performed in clinics, which lack context specificity; therefore, training in the patient's home environment is preferable. In the last decade, developed rehabilitation technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) have enabled gait and balance training outside clinics. Here, we propose a new method for gait rehabilitation in persons who have had a stroke in which mobile AR technology and a sensor-based motion capture system are combined to provide fine-grained feedback on gait performance in real time. Objective: The aims of this study were (1) to investigate manipulation of the gait pattern of persons who have had a stroke based on virtual augmentation during overground walking compared to walking without AR performance feedback and (2) to investigate the usability of the AR system. Methods: We developed the ARISE (Augmented Reality for gait Impairments after StrokE) system, in which we combined a development version of HoloLens 2 smart glasses (Microsoft Corporation) with a sensor-based motion capture system. One patient with chronic minor gait impairment poststroke completed clinical gait assessments and an AR parkour course with patient-centered performance gait feedback. The movement kinematics during gait as well as the usability and safety of the system were evaluated. Results: The patient changed his gait pattern during AR parkour compared to the pattern observed during the clinical gait assessments. He recognized the virtual objects and ranked the usability of the ARISE system as excellent. In addition, the patient stated that the system would complement his standard gait therapy. Except for the symptom of exhilaration, no adverse events occurred. Conclusions: This project provided the first evidence of gait adaptation during overground walking based on real-time feedback through visual and auditory augmentation. The system has potential to provide gait and balance rehabilitation outside the clinic. This initial investigation of AR rehabilitation may aid the development and investigation of new gait and balance therapies.