From AAL to ambient assisted rehabilitation: a research pilot protocol based on smart objects and biofeedback

Paolo Meriggi, Martina Mandalà, Elena Brazzoli, Tecla Piacente, Marcella Mazzola, Ivana Olivieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The progressive miniaturization of electronic devices and their exponential increase in processing, storage and transmission capabilities, represent key factors of the current digital transformation, also sustaining the great development of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) and the Internet of Things. Although most of the investigations in the recent years focused on remote monitoring and diagnostics, rehabilitation too could be positively affected by the widespread integrated use of these devices. Smart Objects in particular may be among the enablers to new quantitative approaches. In this paper, we present a proof-of-concept and some preliminary results of an innovative pediatric rehabilitation protocol based on Smart Objects and biofeedback, which we administered to a sample of children with unilateral cerebral palsy. The novelty of the approach mainly consists in placing the sensing device into a common toy (a ball in our protocol) and using the information measured by the device to administer multimedia-enriched type of exercises, more engaging if compared to the usual rehabilitation activities used in clinical settings. We also introduce a couple of performance indexes, which could be helpful for a quantitative continuous evaluation of movements during the exercises. Even if the number of children involved and sessions performed are not suitable to assess any change in the subjects’ abilities, nor to derive solid statistical inferences, the novel approach resulted very engaging and enjoyable by all the children participating in the study. Moreover, given the almost non-existent literature on the use of Smart Objects in pediatric rehabilitation, the few qualitative/quantitative results here reported may promote the scientific and clinical discussion regarding AAL solutions in a “Computer Assisted Rehabilitation” perspective, towards what can be defined “Pediatric Rehabilitation 2.0”.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Ambient assisted rehabilitation
  • Computer assisted rehabilitation
  • EPIQ approach
  • Pediatric rehabilitation
  • Smart objects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'From AAL to ambient assisted rehabilitation: a research pilot protocol based on smart objects and biofeedback'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this