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Works in Progress: North American Consortium on Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology for the Individual (NARETI)

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1400.1 - 23.1400.6



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Paper Authors


M. Barbara Silver Thorn Marquette University

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Dr. Barbara Silver-Thorn is an associate professor at Marquette University. Her research interests are in rehabilitation engineering, prosthetic and orthotic design, functional assessment, and tissue biomechanics. Her interest and initiatives in engineering study abroad and dual degrees in engineering/STEM teaching began when she served as associate dean for Academic Affairs.

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Karla Bustamante Itesm chihuahua

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Works in Progress: North American Consortium on Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology for the Individual (NARETI)The availability and accessibility of appropriate rehabilitative health care, medical technologyand treatment is an important local, regional, national, and international issue. The focus of thisproject is to increase awareness among biomedical engineers of the differing individual, familyand community rehabilitative health care needs in North America via student exchange withconsortium institutions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The aim is to increase understanding ofalternative healthcare delivery systems and to enhance the development and technology transferof new scientific tools and techniques, medical devices, and related biomedical research.All exchange participants have contact with physicians, patients or applied researchers through avariety of academic opportunities, including: engineering technical elective courses, engineeringproject or capstone design experience, independent study (engineering research or serviceproject), clinical rotation or industrial internship, and/or cultural and language courses.Activities during the first two years included drafting and signing the respective memorandum ofunderstanding, identifying and disseminating curricular opportunities for exchange students,preparing NARETI websites and developing promotional literature, recruiting students,reviewing applications and making travel awards, finalizing assessment instruments, completingassessments of exchange students, and consortium visits to the respective partner institutions.Just over 40 undergraduates have expressed interest in these programs, with 20 studentscompleting applications, and travel awards extended to nine students (seven of whom opted toparticipate in study abroad experiences); four applications for spring 2013 are currently underconsideration. All students enrolled in various engineering technical electives, one participatedin a capstone design project, and all but one student conducted research in a faculty laboratory;no students participated in an engineering service project, industry internship, or formal clinicalrotation as yet. Fourteen faculty members participated in the consortium visits and/or hostedexchange students in their laboratories; nearly 50 faculty welcomed consortium members intotheir laboratories during these consortium visits.Assessment tools included: (1) a healthcare survey, (2) two case study reports, (3) globalperspectives inventory ( questionnaire documenting cultural differences,cultural comforts and the campus environment for culture and cultural tolerance, and (4)interviews of the exchange participants and faculty research/internship mentors by the externalprogram evaluator. Preliminary results indicate that the pre- and post-participation healthcaresurvey responses did not reflect increased general awareness of healthcare systems orrehabilitation economics and access. These healthcare survey responses, however, demonstratedincreased awareness of regulatory approval of medical devices and strong awareness of privacyissues pre-participation. Post-participation interviews of the exchange applicants reflected clearincreases in understanding of rehabilitative technology specific to the student’s research project,the training and delivery of rehabilitation products and services, and sensitivity to rehabilitationindividuals. These gains were based on their research experiences, discussions with theirresearch mentors and graduate students, informal clinical rotation observations, and their casestudy reports. The GPI questionnaire reflected improvements in intrapersonal affect andinterpersonal social interaction, as well as cognitive knowledge.

Silver Thorn, M. B., & Bustamante, K. (2013, June), Works in Progress: North American Consortium on Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology for the Individual (NARETI) Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22785

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