What is RehabWeek?
RehabWeek is a week-long event that brings together different conferences in the field of rehabilitation technology at the same time and place in order to foster cross-disciplinary communication and the development of relationships between different players.
The RehabWeek includes common keynote lectures and other mutually organized sessions, such as panel discussions and poster sessions. In addition, each conference also organizes its own, conference specific sessions. Visitors can freely choose which conference to attend at any given time.
As initiators and co-organizers of several conferences in the field of rehabilitation technology, we have been aware for a long time of the lack of (scientific) communication in this field between those designing and building the devices and those using them with their patients.
This lack of communication between device makers and device users is disastrous because successful inventions are always driven by the needs of the user, in our case, the clinicians and their patients.
We knew, therefore, that if we wanted to advance rehabilitation technology to the next level, a platform was needed where all players in the field could be brought to the same table, to present and exchange ideas, receive feedback on their work and build long term partnerships. RehabWeek is this platform and it allows attendees to visit several conferences and meet with their peers all in one place at the same time—instead of competing for attendees with individual conferences, RehabWeek brings them all together.
History of RehabWeek
In 2011, the IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), the International Neurorehabilitation Symposium (INRS) and the International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation (ICVR) first joined forces to bring together engineers, clinical researchers, practicing clinicians and industry representatives in one place at the same time to maximize exchange across different disciplines for the benefit of the patients. This first RehabWeek took place in Zurich, Switzerland and attracted over 650 attendees from all over the world.
The feedback from participants across societies was overwhelming and many long-lasting partnerships were formed during this exciting event.
We were therefore encouraged and conducted a second RehabWeek in 2015 in Spain, which included the INRS, the Conference on Recent Advances in Neurorehabilitation (ICRAN) and, again, the ICVR. Over 500 people found their way to Spain and enjoyed interesting lectures, stimulating debates and of course Spanish wine, Tapas and the gorgeous city of Valencia.
London was chosen as the location for RehabWeek 2017 and over 1’200 attendees made RehabWeek 2017 the most successful RehabWeek so far, clearly demonstrating the increasing interest in cross-disciplinary communication.
In 2017 we welcomed the Annual Meeting of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society (IFESS), the IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), organized by the International Consortium on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), the International Neurorehabilitation Symposium (INRS), organized by the International Industry Society in Advanced Rehabilitation Technology (IISART) and the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine (BSRM) Meeting.
For RehabWeek 2019, taking place in Toronto, Canada, we are thrilled to announce that this time we will have six societies on board:
• the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society (IFESS)
• the International Consortium on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR)
• the International Industry Society in Advanced Rehabilitation Technology (IISART)
• the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM)
• the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)
• International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO Canada)
We are convinced that RehabWeek 2019 in Toronto will yet be another great success. We hope to see you there!