HandTutor, ArmTutor brings affordable hand and arm rehabilitation to the homes of stroke survivors

modeling a simple human figure in Blender by b...

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The Biomechanical Engineering group at the University of Twente (UT), The Netherlands wishes to bring affordable hand and arm rehabilitation to the homes of stroke survivors. Recently developments in robot mediated rehabilitation has shown the potential for robotic devices to deliver repetitive training thus allowing for a large number of repetitions and intensive exercise practice to patietns in therir homes in both the acute and chronic phases of stroke rehabilitation. In addition evidence is mounting to show that technologies improve the functional and motor outcome of physical and occupational therapy.

The group are in a consortium of eight institutions and companies from four European countries called SCRIPT. SCRIPT is funded through the European Union and the goals are to:

  1. Firstly, use such technologies at patient’s home and enable better management of chronic stroke as larger repetitions and frequent exercise will in turn increase the recovery gains.
  2. Secondly, focus on hand and wrist exercise which at present is the least researched area with the most functional relevance. Upper limb performance is a major contribution to personal independence.
  3. Thirdly, look at differences between passive and active exercise devices.
  4. Fourthly, these devices aim to provide an educational, motivational and engaging interaction between therapist treatment and patient , this makes a therapy session more enjoyable. The therapist is also to be provided with reports on the patients use of the device.
  5. Fifhly, the group will focus on remote management (TR) and support of the patient.
  6. Finally the group will objectively evaluate the project and its impact on health and recovery and its potential cost implications.

The HandTutor, ArmTutor answer all the objectives below and are in use in major U.S. and European hospitals as well as clinics. The devices together with their sisters (LegTutor and 3DTutor) are used in home care and are being economically modeled for their cost implications for telerehabilitation.

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