Frequent falling is one of the most common medical complications after stroke. In this project, we will develop the HEROES system, a novel exergaming system for home use that allows people with stroke to increase their resistance to balance perturbations. The ultimate goals are to prevent falls and fall-related injuries, save fall-related health-care utilization and societal costs, and help people with stroke maintaining independence in daily life. HEROES will focus on improving stepping responses for recovering balance, capitalizing on recent findings that demonstrate the great potential of action observation and motor imagery. This approach sets HEROES clearly apart from any currently available home-based exergames, which aim at healthy persons and lack the required personalization.
HEROES will be used at home, following a single training session in a rehabilitation center to practice recovering from real balance perturbations. The effectiveness of the innovation will be evaluated in a proof-of principle RCT in 60 people with stroke.