It’s well-known that video games improve hand-eye coordination, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that stroke patients could recover their range of motion by playing them. Four mechanical-engineering students at McGill University in Canada have developed an inexpensive sensor glove that allows patients to exercise in a game-like fashion at home with minimal supervision. Self-therapy? Well, yes and no. Using the accompanying software, doctors will be able to monitor their charges’ progress off-site, cutting down on hospital visits and costs.
ALL YOU NEED IS GLOVE
The high-tech glove was designed in partnership with Jintronix, a technology startup in Montreal, while under the supervision of the students’ professor, Rosaire Mongrain. For several months, the undergraduates met with the company to develop the glove, which translates the movements of the wrist, palm, and index finger into three-dimensional models for viewing on a computer screen. Tracking their own progress is one benefit, but patients will also be able to use the software to send the data to their doctors for evaluation.
Tracking their own progress is one benefit, but patients will also be able to use the software to send the data to their doctors.
Although similar gloves exist on the market, they cost around $30,000. The McGill students were able to bring down the cost of production to about $1,000 using more-accurate but less-expensive sensors. Coupled with remote monitoring on the part of the physician, the glove should dramatically slash overall recovery costs, which can only benefit the patient. In any case, playing Assassin’s Creed at home sounds way more fun than going into some stuffy doctor’s office.