Posts Tagged low-cost

[ARTICLE] Development of low-cost portable hand exoskeleton for assistive and rehabilitation purposes – Full Text PDF


The design of an aid for the hand function based on exoskeleton technologies for patients who have lost or injured hand skills, e.g. because of neuromuscular or aging diseases, is one of the most influential challenge in modern robotics to assure them an independent and healthy life. This research activity is focused on the design and development of a low-cost Hand Exoskeleton System (HES) for supporting patients affected by hand disabilities during the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). The device can be also used during the rehabilitative sessions to better recovery the dexterity of the user’s hand. This paper presents a compact design concept for a portable hand exoskeleton. This prototype has been developed thanks to the collaboration between the Department of Industrial Engineering (DIEF) of the University of Florence, and the Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory of the ETH, Z¨ urich, during the eNTERFACE16 Workshop, hosted by the University of Twente.
Testing sequence

Testing sequence

via Development of low-cost portable hand exoskeleton for assistive and rehabilitation purposes

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[Abstract] A low cost kinect-based virtual rehabilitation system for inpatient rehabilitation of the upper limb in patients with subacute stroke: A randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled pilot trial.



We designed this study to prove the efficacy of the low-cost Kinect-based virtual rehabilitation (VR) system for upper limb recovery among patients with subacute stroke.


A double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled trial was performed. A total of 23 subjects with subacute stroke (<3 months) were allocated to sham (n = 11) and real VR group (n = 12). Both groups participated in a daily 30-minute occupational therapy for upper limb recovery for 10 consecutive weekdays. Subjects received an additional daily 30-minute Kinect-based or sham VR. Assessment was performed before the VR, immediately and 1 month after the last session of VR. Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) (primary outcome) and other secondary functional outcomes were measured. Accelerometers were used to measure hemiparetic upper limb movements during the therapy.


FMA immediately after last VR session was not different between the sham (46.8 ± 16.0) and the real VR group (49.4 ± 14.2) (P = .937 in intention to treat analysis). Significant differences of total activity counts (TAC) were found in hemiparetic upper limb during the therapy between groups (F2,26 = 4.43; P = .22). Real VR group (107,926 ± 68,874) showed significantly more TACs compared with the sham VR group (46,686 ± 25,814) but there was no statistical significance between real VR and control (64,575 ± 27,533).


Low-cost Kinect-based upper limb rehabilitation system was not more efficacious compared with sham VR. However, the compliance in VR was good and VR system induced more arm motion than control and similar activity compared with the conventional therapy, which suggests its utility as an adjuvant additional therapy during inpatient stroke rehabilitation.

PMID:29924029 DOI:10.1097/MD.0000000000011173

via A low cost kinect-based virtual rehabilitation system for inpatient rehabilitation of the upper limb in patients with subacute stroke: A randomized… – PubMed – NCBI

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[WEB SITE] Low-cost therapy produces long-lasting improvements for stroke survivors – Medical News Today

Published: Tuesday 24 January 2017

A stroke can affect the way the brain processes the information it receives from the eyes which can cause a number of visual processing problems. The study aimed to test the effectiveness of visuomotor feedback training (VFT) in treating the most common of these, visual neglect, which happens when the brain does not process the information about what is seen on one side of space.

Patients with visual neglect may not be aware of the left or right side depending on the side of their stroke. For example, if the stroke affects the right side of the brain then patients will have problems processing the left side. This means they might accidentally ignore people, or even their own body, and may bump into things because they do not realise they are there.

The researchers, led by Dr Stephanie Rossit of UEA’s School of Psychology and Dr Monika Harvey of the University Glasgow’s School of Psychology, developed and tested a version of VFT for rehabilitating visual neglect in the patient’s home.

A simple treatment of grasping, lifting and balancing wooden rods of different sizes, the idea is that by repeatedly grasping the rod so that it is balanced when lifted, the patients receive different sources of feedback from their senses – seeing, touching and feeling the rod tilting – which helps reduce the visual neglect. This relatively unexplored technique is not currently in clinical use.

The findings, published today in the journal Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, show for the first time that VFT produces marked and long-lasting improvements in visual neglect, even after just one hour of therapy. In particular, patients who received VFT were able to find many more items in their ‘neglected’ side of space than before treatment and these improvements lasted for at least four months after the therapy had finished.

Significantly, the team also found that VFT improved aspects of the patients’ daily lives, such as eating, dressing and social activities, and produced long-lasting improvements even with fewer sessions and on more severely impaired patients than in previous studies.

A very disabling condition, up to a third of all stroke survivors with visual neglect can show signs of it more than a year after their stroke. In the UK, someone has a stroke approximately every three minutes. There are currently more than 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK and half of all survivors have a disability.

Lead author Dr Rossit, a lecturer in psychology, said: “Visual neglect is a severe disorder and rehabilitation remains a challenge, as currently no approach has been recommended for clinical use. However, this study shows that VFT is an extremely promising therapy for large-scale implementation. In contrast to most available techniques, VFT can be easily taught and administered, it is non-invasive, cost-effective and can be conducted by the patients themselves in their own homes.

“The therapy produces long-lasting improvements in stroke patients with chronic visual neglect. This highlights the need for further research into the use of VFT, which we have shown may significantly improve aspects of patients’ daily lives.”

The study was carried out in Glasgow, where the research team ran a small-scale trial with 20 stroke survivors with visual neglect in their homes. They compared the effects of VFT with the effects of a control training: 10 stroke survivors received VFT and 10 stroke survivors received the control training. The effects were tested after two sessions over two days totaling an hour, after 10 sessions over two weeks, and then again four months after the therapy ended. Importantly, the improvements seen after VFT were above the ones observed after the control training.

The findings are particularly relevant in light of a Cochrane review of other visual neglect therapies, which concluded that their effectiveness in reducing disability and improving independence remains uncertain and most of the effects are not long-lasting.

Dr Rossit and Dr Harvey are currently seeking funding to carry out the next phase of clinical trials involving larger groups of patients.

Article: Efficacy of home-based visuomotor feedback training in stroke patients with chronic hemispatial neglect, Dr Stephanie Rossit et al., Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, published 24 January 2017.

Source: Low-cost therapy produces long-lasting improvements for stroke survivors – Medical News Today

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[Conference Paper] Haptic based Gait Rehabilitation System for Stroke Patients – Full Text PDF

Among most existing gait rehabilitation robots, it
is difficult to find adequate devices for gait rehabilitation of
chronic stroke patients who can already stand and move but still
need to rehabilitate the affected lower limb through simple,
compact, and easy-to use devices. This paper presents a novel
haptic based gait rehabilitation system (HGRS) which has the
potential to provide over-ground gait training regimens for
post-stroke ambulatory subjects. It consists of a portable cane
for kinesthetic sensing and a wearable vibrotactor array for
tactile biofeedback. Contact of user with the handle provides
light grip force, it serves the purpose of balance assurance and
increased muscle activity through light touch concept and
vibrotactors contribute in enhancing the gait modification
through afferent signal of vibration. Walking trials conducted
with stroke patients indicate increased muscle activation and
balance, and improved temporal symmetry with use of HGRS.
HGRS is capable of assisting physical therapists in training
individuals with stroke suffering from gait abnormalities. In
addition, it is easy to use and low-cost which makes it reachable
to a vast domain of subjects suffering from gait abnormalities.

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[WEB SITE] NeuroRehabLab | Exploring the human brain through Virtual Environment interaction


The NeuroRehabLab is an interdisciplinary research group of the University of Madeira that investigates at the intersection of technology, neuroscience and clinical practice to find novel solutions to increase the quality of life of those with special needs. We capitalize on Virtual Reality, Serious Games, and Brain-Computer Interfaces to exploit specific brain mechanisms that relate to functional recovery to approach motor and cognitive rehabilitation by means of non-invasive and low-cost technologies.

more —> NeuroRehabLab | Exploring the human brain through Virtual Environment interaction

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