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Smart Rehabilitation Technologies

Speaker:Dr. Annick Timmermans (Hasselt University)

Time and Date: 10:00 - , Mar. 28, 2017

Place: Room 521, Physics Building, Handan Campus




Because of demographic changes (aging population) and an increase in sedentary lifestyle in the last decennia, the prevalence of neurological and orthopedic problems is increasing. Exercise therapy can decrease pain and disability, but training effect sizes remain to date rather low. It is hypothesized that more targeted therapy approaches are needed and that the motor learning potential of patients is insufficiently challenged. Also it seems difficult for patients to comply to home exercises and perform them correctly in the absence of a therapist. There is a very big potential for rehabilitation technologies to improve exercise variability and support patients in doing home exercises through offering a motivating training environment. Sensor based registrations during exercise performance allow for very accurate feedback during and after exercise performance that support motor learning. The aim of my presentation is to give an overview of technology projects that I have been involved in, and to point out how they can support rehabilitation processes in order to use the patient’s potential for improvement through enhanced rehabilitation opportunities.




Annick Timmermans is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, Hasselt University and a member of the Biomedical Research Institute (BIOMED – REVAL)(Belgium). She holds a MSc degree in Rehabilitation Sciences from KULeuven (Belgium) and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy from University College London (United Kingdom). She did her PhD at Eindhoven University of Technology (NL) in 2010 and post-doctoral research at Maastricht University (The Netherlands)(until 2012) on technology supported rehabilitation approaches, which is also the focus of her current research activities. She investigates the use of wireless sensor systems for the assessment of functional skill performance as well as the use of technological systems for enriched rehabilitation environments in the hospital and at home for patients with musculoskeletal problems. A. Timmermans is the coordinator of “RELAB” center of expertise in rehabilitation technologies at BIOMED- REVAL, which serves as a platform for scientific research, education, and service delivery towards clinical partners and companies. Timmermans is also the coordinator of musculoskeletal education and research, and of clinical placements in the rehabilitation department of Hasselt University. Annick Timmermans is a member of several (inter)national scientific networks and societies, a.o the Belgian Back Society (Board member, Secretary) & the International Industrial Society for Advanced Rehabilitation Technologies (IISART, Education Group). She has participated at the European Network on Robotics for Neurorehabilitation (COST Action TD1600) and is currently a member of the European Cost Action 16116 on Wearable Robots for Augmentation, Assistance, or Substitution of Human Motor Functions (MC member for Belgium).


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