This medical rehabilitation research resource (R24) infrastructure core, Translation of Rehabilitation Engineering Advancement and Technology (TREAT), will provide a national resource for medical rehabilitation researchers, clinicians, bioengineers and medical rehabilitation technology inventors, including people with disabilities, for translation and commercialization of rehabilitation applications. The expertise of the core team and core partner organizations will be leveraged to provide early stage product evaluation, technology assessment, prototype development, commercialization planning and execution, and to develop and foster comparative effectiveness clinical trials within the rehabilitation research community, extending to the greater community beyond the clinic. The goals are to: 1) rapidly expand the knowledge base and education of medical rehabilitation researchers related to rehabilitation technology evaluation and commercialization, and 2) provide infrastructure and access to core services for evaluation and translation of novel ideas for rehabilitation technologies across the United States.
Technology transfer and appropriate clinical effectiveness trials of rehabilitation research and technology are significantly lacking. NCMRR is particularly interested in extending its rehabilitation research networks to include outcomes research in order to better support the translation of basic and clinical findings into real-world settings. While there are several centers around the country that focuses on career development of rehabilitation researchers, there are currently no targeted efforts at developing expertise in the practice of technology transfer that can be disseminated more broadly to the rehabilitation research community.
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