Mahnoor Ali, Saad Mahmood and Asad Tariq
Aim of Project
Development of an intelligent wearable glove to assist medical clinicians in measuring accurate angles of hand joints along with the grip force of the human hand. Our glove can be used to quantify disease progression, recovery and acute diagnosis for both the clinicians and patients with hand deformities. The main aims of the project are to:
- Accurately measure hand joint angles in a dynamic way.
- Accurately measure hand grip.
- Providing a platform for clinicians and patients to monitor rehabilitation progress and keep a record of data.
- Quantifying level of dexterity.
The overall objective of the project is to develop a tool to facilitate clinicians and patients with hand deformities to measure the progress of rehabilitation, provide them with feedback of their treatment and monitor the progress on their hand held device This is achieved by fabricating a smart glove made of stretchable Lycra, layered with Flex sensors and Force Sensitive Resistors. Values are acquired from these sensors in terms of voltage are manipulated by the controller mounted on the glove. The controller then sends the data through Bluetooth Low Energy to a user friendly android application, which keeps record of previous results of a user in its data base. The tools employed in the app show the data in the graphical form, which are more comprehensible for common users.
Advantage of the Proposed solution
Occupational Therapists (OTs) use invasive techniques such as x-rays or manual techniques using a Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), angle measuring instrumentation, tape measure and grip strength dynamometer for treatment of hand deformities. A goniometer measures flexion, extension, adduction and abduction of the previously mentioned joints in degrees.
In these techniques:
- All outcomes are easily influenced by training and experience of clinicians.
- All measurements are recorded in handwritten form.
- The process is very time consuming.
- Patients have to visit the clinic every time they want to check their progress.
Market application and exploitation
As ‘HandMade’ is a deformity monitoring device, its real application lies in the Physiotherapy department. We conducted a survey, involving multiple doctors from various rehabilitation centers, to reach the following observations:
- 100% of the physiotherapists agreed that hand deformities affect the person’s daily routine.
- 75% of the physiotherapists did not consider the existing methods of joint measurement, e.g. Goniometer, as reliable and efficient.
- 90% of the physiotherapists think that the wearable glove will be very useful for the patients to self-assess the range of motion of the hand.
- 80% of the physiotherapists think that overall the device would be very helpful.
- On average 15-20 people who suffer from any sort of hand deformities visit their physiotherapists monthly.