Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Tele-robotics (SCRIPT) device. (Image by University of Hertfordshire.)

Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Tele-robotics (SCRIPT) device. (Image by University of Hertfordshire.)

A prototype robotic glove has been developed by researchers based at the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, England, that can be used by individuals affected by stroke in their homes to support rehabilitation and personal independence in receiving therapies.

According to a media release from the University of Hertfordshire, the aim of the glove is to provide therapies that target impairments that linger among patients who are in the chronic stages of stroke, a period when treatment typically may have decreased or stopped.

The team has spent the last 3 years developing two prototype robotic gloves. Both are engineered to facilitate repetitive movement and exercise of the hand and wrist. The device reportedly also records the patient’s performance and sends the data to a therapist so that treatment may be customized remotely and arrangements can be made for follow-up.

Farshid Amirabdollahian, PhD, described in the university’s media release as an expert in rehabilitation robotics and assistive technologies, and a senior lecturer in adaptive systems at the University’s School of Computer Science, coordinated the €4,643,983 project, known as Supervised Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Tele-robotics (SCRIPT).

“This project focused on therapies for stroke patients at home,” Amirabdollahian says in the media release. “Our goal was to make motivating therapies available to people to practice at home using this system, hoping that they have a vested interest to practice and will do so. We 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.”

The overall aim of the project, according to the media release, was to provide an educational, motivational and engaging interaction, making a more positive therapy session for the patient, while providing feedback to them and their health care professionals. As a result of the study’s outcomes, the team is considering a follow-up project that will strive to improve recovery outcomes.

[Source: University of Hertfordshire]