Dr. Charmayne Hughes is the Health Equity Institute Professor of Kinesiology at San Francisco State University. After completing her PhD in motor behavior with a specialization in motor control from Purdue University, she worked as a senior post-doctoral researcher in the Robotics Research Centre in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, a senior postdoctoral fellow at the Technical University of Munich, and a post-doctoral fellow in the Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (COR-Lab), and the Center of Excellence: Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at Bielefeld University. Her research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms underlying motor planning and control during goal-directed movements in neurologically healthy adults and children. In addition, she examines aspects of motor control in individuals with neurological deficits (e.g., stroke, traumatic brain injury) and applies these results to the development of context-appropriate devices that can improve their rehabilitation trajectories. Dr. Hughes’ work has been widely published in international peer-reviewed journals such as Frontiers in Neuroscience: Neural Technology, IEEE Transactions in Haptics, Brain & Behavior, and Robotics and Autonomous Systems.
The Role of the Privileged in the Development of Health Technologies for Medically Underserved Populations
Low- and middle-income countries bear the highest disease burden in the world, especially in countries where a large proportion of the population lives in rural areas without ready access to quality health care services. The complex nature of health technology development and deployment, as well as a dearth of funding opportunities in low- and middle-income countries, often involves partnerships between researchers in the region of interest and those from more developed nations. While pragmatic, they have the unfortunate downside of reducing scalability and sustainability if not planned and executed properly. In this talk, I will discuss the evolution of my collaboration with the University of Gondar Medical Hospital, and how we co-designed and developed the outREACH tele-rehabilitation system for personalized upper limb stroke rehabilitation. I will also elucidate my role in the collaboration, my strategies to strengthen the research capacity of the University of Gondar, and my responsibilities to persons living in the Ethiopian community as a person of privilege.