Facilitating continuity: exploring the role of digital technology in physical rehabilitation

Naveen L. Bagalkot, Elena Nazzi, Tomas Sokoler

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In this paper we report our early experiences on exploring if, and how, digital technology can help facilitate a stronger sense of continuity in the physical rehabilitation process, as experienced by the therapists and the senior citizens. We recognize four aspects of the design space offered by the notion of continuity, and present two design explorations: MagicMirror, exploring the design for self-monitoring and collaborative articulation; and Walky, exploring the design for self-monitoring and the integration of rehab activities with other everyday activities. Taking a research-through-design approach we have used sketching in a co-design setting with senior citizens and therapists, as the main vehicle for our research. With our MagicMirror and Walky design explorations, we aim to contribute on two levels: firstly, by providing two proof-of-concepts of designing digital technology for the physical rehabilitation of senior citizens. Secondly, and more importantly, we provide a pointer towards a new practice of physical rehabilitation: a practice where the role of digital technology is to support, through the facilitation of continuity, the collaboration between therapist and senior citizens across the private home and the rehab clinic. We speculate that, digital technology, in this way, can become a constructive part of the general move towards successful and more efficient rehabilitation processes for the ever-growing number of senior citizens in need of rehab.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries (NordiCHI '10)
Number of pages10
Publication date2010
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-60558-934-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Digital Rehabilitation Technology
  • Continuity in Rehabilitation
  • Senior Citizens Rehabilitation
  • Self-Monitoring in Rehab
  • Collaborative Rehabilitation Design


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