Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire and a team of European partners have developed a prototype of a robotic glove which can help stroke victims by giving them rehabilitation support and personal independence in receiving therapies.
At the chronic stages of stroke, patients are not likely to be receiving treatment but they continue to live with some impairment. This robotic glove will provide therapies to target these impairments.
Over the past three years the team developed two prototype robotic gloves, which facilitate repetitive movement and exercise of the hand and wrist. The device also records the patient’s performance and sends this to a therapist for tailoring treatment remotely and arranging follow-up.
Dr Farshid Amirabdollahian, an expert in rehabilitation robotics and assistive technologies and a senior lecturer in adaptive systems at the University’s School of Computer Science co-ordinated the €4,643,983 project called SCRIPT (Supervised Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Tele-robotics).
This project focused on therapies for stroke patients at home. The aim was to make motivating therapies available to people to practise at home using this system, hoping that they have a vested interest to practice and will do so. The team tried this system with 30 patients and found that patients indeed practised at home, on average around 100 minutes each week, and some showed clinical improvements in their hand and arm function.