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LiveWell RERC State of the Science Conference: The Future of mHealth and mRehab for People with Disabilities

  • RehabWeek 2019 255 Front Street West Toronto, ON, M5V 2W6 Canada (map)

The LiveWell RERC will hold its State of the Science (SoS) conference on June 25 and 26, 2019 during RehabWeek 2019 Conference in Toronto, Canada. Further SoS details are below, along with a full agenda. If you are attending RehabWeek 2019, LiveWell RERC staff welcome you to attend our SoS.

LiveWell RERC State of the Science Conference: The Future of mHealth and mRehab for People with Disabilities

Abstract: The growth in mobile health and mobile rehab technologies and programs in recent years have produced rising expectations among consumers/patients, clinicians and healthcare delivery organizations. Concerns have been raised that the proliferation of mHealth could increase health disparities if it disproportionately benefits advantaged populations and leave vulnerable populations behind, including people with disabilities. Meanwhile, mRehab solutions are relatively less mature than mHealth solutions, and must confront critical challenges of dosing, efficacy, acceptance by consumers and other stakeholders, integration into hospitals’ health information systems, and reimbursement. The LiveWell State of the Science Conference will map the current state of the art and identify critical features of an mHealth/mRehab ecosystem that serves all populations.

The current state of development of mHealth/mRehab solutions reveals numerous critical challenges and questions which must be address in order to move forward effectively:

  • Clinicians lack insight into patient functioning in the home and community

  • How can clinicians extend the effectiveness of therapy for patients who have limited rehab benefits (e.g., spreading out outpatient visits and using technology to support home-based therapy between visits)?

  • Lack of any efficacy data about any apps and challenges of conducting efficacy studies (e.g., apps come and go so evaluation must be of common elements)

  • Lack of adherence in use of apps/ technology abandonment (some of which may be acceptable, e.g., once a habit is established you don’t need the app)

  • Misfit between essential elements for behavior change (e.g., goal setting) and actual features of current apps/tech

  • Overall user needs – the disparity/differences between people with and without disabilities

Learning Outcomes/Objectives: At the conclusion of session, attendees will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between mHealth, mRehab, and Telehealth

  2. Identify 3 emerging technologies that will be central to mRehab solutions

  3. Identify 3 user needs related to mRehab technologies and programs for people with disabilities

  4. Identify 3 barriers to adoption of mRehab technologies and programs by people with disabilities


Session 1: The Future of mHealth for People with Disabilities


Devin Mann, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, Senior Director, Informatics Innovation, MCIT, Director, Healthcare Innovations Bridging Research Informatics and Design (HIBRID) Lab, NYU Langone Health


David Putrino, PT, PhD
mHealth: Technology adoption, demonstrating value to healthcare delivery organizations, clinicians and patients

June Kailes, Disability Policy Consultant
mHealth: Consumer perspectives, user acceptance/adherence, and abandonment of mHealth technology solutions

Session 2: The Future of mRehabfor People with Disabilities


Catherine Lang, PT, PhD, Professor of Physical Therapy, Neurology, Occupational Therapy, Associate Director, Movement Science Program, Washington University


Kate Lorig, PhD
mRehab: Consumer perspectives, strategies to promote engagement by patients, family, caregivers and other users of mHealth technology solutions

Danielle Jake-Schoffman, PhD
mRehab: Evaluating mRehab/mHealth mobile apps for usability, engagement, and evidence-basis, and incorporation of established techniques for behavior change

Session 3: The Future of mHealth/mRehab for People with Disabilities: Mapping the Road Ahead – Roundtable discussion / Workshop

  • All speakers

  • Other invited guests: Chris MacDonell, Steve Bauer, Alex Mihailidis, others

  • RERC staff

  • RehabWeek attendees