A robot could serve as treatment for people who have suffered from strokes. Scientists have developed a robotic glove that could help people who suffered from strokes regain their ability of moving their hands again.
The mechanical glove named SCRIPT, has been designed by the University of Hertfordshire from England, after a collaboration with several countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom.
The main purpose of the machine is to help people regain their muscle movement by facilitating the exercises. On the glove there are sensors placed that can monitor the progress of each patient which can afterwards be seen and analysed by their therapist.
The invention has been tested by 34 volunteers and the results of the experiment have proved to be promising.
Shani Shamah has survived two strokes and has helped researchers to test the device. She has used the glove a few times and has shared her thoughts to the team of researchers who created the robotic device.
The intensity of the stroke suffered by Shamanm was huge and after second one she couldn’t talk anymore and her entire left side paralysed. She had to undergo special therapy sessions where she had to learn how to walk again and how to re-use her arm.
According to Shamah, this kind of therapy is much more efficient and fun than the standard ones and she recommends it to everyone in need. Her only regret is the fact that she couldn’t have the possibility of using the glove before, while she was recovering.
When suffering a stroke, the body of a person suffers a shock and his or her hand clenches. From that point on, it is very difficult to re-bring the hand in the normal shape. Trough this device, researchers are aiming to open the hand so that patients can bring the hand in its initial shape.
Following this procedure, starting therapy becomes faster and easier. The glove is designed to help people open their hand by pulling the fingers out and stretching them.
After one session, the machine records the results of the patient and sends them to the therapist in charge of the case. This helps medical experts to provide better treatment. Patients can also use the glove in the comfort of their own homes and they can practice their recovery during their own free time.
The device offers patients the chance to freely use it whenever they wish to, in the morning, at night, during the day, and in this way they are not depending on the schedule of the therapist.
Robotics experts have spent three years on creating the glove and have stated that apart from the benefits of being able to use the glove at home, by recording the performance of each therapy session, doctors can provide for each patient an individualised treatment.
The robot has positive effects on both people who have suffered a mild stroke and those who have suffered severe strokes.
The project for the development of the robotic glove costed 4.6 million euros and part of it was sponsored by the European Commission.
For the glove to arrive in its final development stage, the researchers have stated that further funds are needed and, if received, the glove will be fully functional within two years.
The starting price for the robotic glove is not known yet for sure, but it will probably cost somewhere under $10,000 a piece.