Applied Biomechanics in Rehabilitation Research

Endowed professorship of the province of Lower Austria to strengthen and expand the research focus on motor rehabilitation

Background 

Gait disorders and other movement disorders are common problems in all age groups. They have not only a significant impact on the lives of those affected, but also represent an enormous socioeconomic burden. The quantitative assessment and diagnosis of movement disorders is crucial for planning targeted and adequate treatment strategies. 

Project content

The endowed professorship on "Applied Biomechanics in Rehabilitation Research" focuses on the musculoskeletal system of humans as well as all aspects that can impair motor performance from an orthopaedic, neurological and neuro-orthopaedic point of view. Technical innovations offer significant potential for meeting challenges in rehabilitation. The use of digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual /Augmented Reality or Motion Capturing technologies for the three-dimensional quantification of movement offers enormous potential to support and further develop diagnosis and therapy. 

Goal

This professorship pursues the goal of optimising the care of patients in rehabilitation by innovative technologies and thus makes a significant contribution to solving socially relevant problems in rehabilitation. 

Methodology 

Expanding on several years of research at the interface of digitisation and health (e.g. at the Center for Digital Health Innovation) the endowed professorship  further expands the area of digitisation and rehabilitation at St. Pölten UAS  in the following areas: 

  1. Personalised medicine in rehabilitation: Developing person-specific musculoskeletal biomechanical models to  describe and analysis biomechanical processes in the human body. 
  2. Explainable AI (artificial intelligence): development and application of clearly understandable machine learning procedures in gait analysis and rehabilitation. 
  3. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR): Exploration of concepts how rehabilitation can be supported and optimised through AR/VR.
  4. Osteoarthrosis research: Further development and evaluation of clinical guidelines for the therapy of osteoarthrosis.

Result 

The endowed professorship ensures that the research focus of ‘Applied Biomechanics in Rehabilitation Research’, - unique in Austria – is sustainably established in Lower Austria. This is achieved through providing a common framework for experts, infrastructure as well as competencies due to the close interplay of research and teaching. New findings and methods are quickly incorporated into teaching and are taught to the next generation of e.g. physiotherapists.

Endowed Professorships of the Province of Lower Austria 

In view of the great importance of digitization, two endowed professorships on the topic of digitization/digital transformation were announced in 2019 to further strengthen and structurally anchor research and tertiary education in this field in Lower Austria. They are intended to contribute to the establishment and expansion of critical mass and internationally visible research groups, to the development of teaching and to a long-term increase in the number of graduates at universities in Lower Austria. The endowed professorships are also intended to contribute to strengthening research and promoting young scientists.

 

Funding
NFB Stiftungsprofessur
Runtime
09/01/2021 – 10/01/2026
Status
current
Involved Institutes, Groups and Centers
Center for Digital Health Innovation
Institute of Health Sciences