The field of clinical rehabilitation is rooted in the premise that carefully planned and delivered therapeutic intervention enhances patient outcomes. Underlying this statement is a deeper scientific reality: The field exists because biosystems (e.g., tissues, cells, organs, persons) are inherently adaptive and can dynamically change as a function of a sequence of inputs (e.g., exercise, pharmaceuticals). The tools of telerehabilitation help minimize the barrier of distance, both of patients to rehabilitative services and of researchers to subject populations. This enhanced access opens up new possibilities for discovering and implementing optimized intervention strategies across the continuum of care. Telecommunications technologies are reviewed from the perspective of systems models of the telerehabilitation process, with a focus on human-technology interface design and a special emphasis on emerging home and mobile technologies. Approaches for providing clinical rehabilitation services through telerehabilitation are addressed, including innovative consumer-centered approaches. Finally, telerehabilitation is proposed as a tool for reinvigorating the rehabilitative bioengineering research enterprise.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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