As part of a $4.9 million-collaborative project in Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, researchers at the University of Hertfordshire created a robotic glove to assist stroke victims regain hand movement and rebuild muscles.
The Supervised Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Tele-robotics glove facilitates repetitive hand and wrist movements through exercises and games, aiming to counteract the semi-permanent, clenched postures that stroke victims can suffer. It is designed for use during the worst parts of illness, as well as after a patient has left the hospital.
This device comes with sensors that allow a patient’s progress to be monitored and evaluated, enabling a patient to train during his/her own time, with rehabilitation not contingent on a therapist’s schedule, said SCRIPT integrator Naila Rahman.
Furthermore, the remote evaluation of data allows therapists to individualize treatments, meaning that the glove can work for both those with severe strokes and those with more moderate ones.
For the final glove design to be finished in the next two years, outside investment is needed, SCRIPT co-ordinator Dr. Farshid Amirabdollahian added, noting that the product should be an affordable healthcare option at less than $10,000 per glove. — Jason Scott