Reviewer: Elliot J Roth, MD (Shirley Ryan AbilityLab)
Description: Describing applications of virtual reality combined with robotic technology for use in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities, this book is similar to others in the Advances in Medical Technologies and Clinical Practice series, in that it is readable, easily understandable, well organized, practical, and basic.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide both an overview and specific examples of the applications of virtual reality, robotics, and other technologies, singularly and in combination, to the care of people with disabilities. The authors have met these objectives, which are worthy for select audiences.
Audience: The book is useful for graduate students, educators, and clinicians in the rehabilitation professions, clinical program leaders, and some engineers and technicians who work with rehabilitation technology. Although some researchers might use it, the practical nature of the book and the lack of theoretical or evidence basis may make it less appropriate for academics.
Features: The book begins with a thoughtful discussion of end users (individuals with disability) that includes the Americans with Disabilities Act, assistive technology, caregivers, device "abandonment," and contextual factors that influence technology use and functional outcomes. This is followed by sections with specific examples of practical applications of various technologies, organized around virtual reality plus robot, virtual reality alone, robotics alone, and sensors alone. The writing is clear and understandable, making the material accessible to clinicians and trainees. The book is loaded with many specific examples. This is not a theoretical book, and the research that is discussed focuses only on the specific examples. Figures are adequate.
Assessment: This is potentially useful for rehabilitation trainees, especially those interested in rehabilitation technology. What it lacks in academic underpinning, it makes up in clarity and applicability.