photo caption: Ten student teams took part in the ASBME Makeathon, designing and building devices to help stroke survivors regain hand and wrist movement. (image courtesy of ASBME)
More than 700,000 people suffer a stroke each year in the United States, with many facing a long and arduous road to recovery that can take years. One of the biggest challenges in the later stages of rehabilitation is the regaining of fine motor skills such as hand and wrist movement. The simple ability to do basic tasks such as cutting vegetables, writing or playing a board game can make a significant difference to a stroke survivor’s quality of life.
This challenge inspired the 2020 Makeathon from USC Viterbi’s Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering (ASBME), a 48 hour long event, in which student teams worked against the clock to build a functioning prototype of a medical assistive device that can help survivors of stroke to improve their hand and wrist movements.