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 organised sessions, such as panel discussions and poster sessions. In addition, each conference also organises its own, conference specific sessions.Visitors can freely choose which conference to attend at any given time.
As initiators and co-organisers 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.
During RehabWeek 2015, the involved societies agreed to continue the successful tradition of RehabWeek and founded an umbrella society (the International Consortium on Rehabilitation Technology, ICRT), responsible for organising and conducting this event on a bi-yearly basis. London was chosen as the location for RehabWeek 2017 and the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society (IFESS), the ICORR and the INRS (organised by the International Industry Society in Advanced Rehabilitation Technology, IISART) committed to participate. Furthermore, the organising body decided to invite the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine (BSRM) to join RehabWeek in 2017 as a local society representing, by and large, clinicians. We are thrilled the BSRM accepted our invitation and will be organising an extraordinary BSRM Meeting during RehabWeek (this will not replace their annual meeting, taking place in Cambridge in the fall of 2017). We are convinced that RehabWeek 2017 in London will be a great success. We hope to see you there!