Former CRF Family Research Scholar (’10-’11), Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders Yu-Kyong Choe was recently awarded a grant of $109,252 from the American Heart Association aimed at improving the lives of stroke survivors though treatment delivered by robotics technology.
Choe developed this grant as part during her time in the Family Research Scholars Program, run by CRF. The Family Research Scholars Program provides selected faculty with the time, technical expertise, peer mentorship, and national expert consultation to prepare a large grant proposal to further their research.
In a letter to CRF, she writes, “I want to thank [CRF] for helping me and encouraging me throughout the whole process. I know that I couldn't have written that grant without [CRF].”
This study, titled "Interdisciplinary Stroke Rehabilitation Delivered by a Humanoid Robot,” will use three specific outcome measures (functional recovery, quality of life, and burden of care) to understand the impact of robot-mediated therapies for stroke victims.
In the initial phase of the study, she will work to develop a computer program that addresses speech-language deficits specific to individual stroke survivors. In the second and third phases, she will install this speech program into the robot and look at the impact of robot-mediated rehabilitation on arm functions as well as language and cognitive functions. If this technology proves helpful, she hopes to introduce it to medical and residential settings for more intensive and consistent intervention.
This project furthers past research efforts by Choe to use computer treatment for disorders such as aphasia and apraxia. Her past research supports the use of interactive computer technology as a tool to improve language and cognitive function.
To learn more about the Family Research Scholars Program, please visit our website: www.umass.edu/family/research-programs/family-research-scholar.