Help for Stroke Patients: Wireless Sleve
Scientists at the University of Southampton are to develop and trial a new wearable technology to help people who have had a stroke recover use of their arm and hand.
The Ledbrook Clinic has learnt that the team at the University will create a wireless sleeve which will provide automatic, intelligent information about muscle movement and strength while patients practice everyday tasks at home.
Data will be available on a tablet to enable patients to review their progress, as well as to allow therapists to tailor their rehabilitation programme. The two-year programme has been funded with a grant of just under 1 million from the National Institute of Health Research through its Invention for Innovation programme.
Professor Jane Burridge said:
“About 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke each year and despite improvements in acute care that results in better survival rates, 60 per cent of people with moderate to severe strokes fail to recover useful function in their arm and hand.
She says that rehabilitation is increasingly home based, as patients are often discharged from hospital after a few days. This encourages independence and avoids problems associated with prolonged hospital stays. However, some patients struggle to carry out the exercises and they may question whether what they are doing is correct. Similarly, therapists don’t have objective measurements about their patients’ muscle activity or ability to move. Rehabilitation technologies like our sleeve will address problems faced by both patients and therapist. “