A wearable vibrotactile device to aid post-stroke rehabilitation

(left to right) Dr James Tyrell, Mr Patrick Sagastegui, Anja Borowicz Richardson, Dr Jumpei Kashiwakura and Vishal Rawji

Principal Investigator: Professor Dario Farina

Co-Investigators: Jumpei Kashiwakura, Patrick Sagastegui and Vishal Rawji

Centre Fellow: Adrian Garcia and James Tyrrell

Artist: Anja Borowicz Richardson

Stroke impacts a patient’s motor function, reduces independence, and has substantial social and economic impact. Intensive rehabilitation is crucial for regaining independence, but due to resource limitations, only 60% of patients receive recommended therapy, which may still be insufficient. The study aims to improve patient mobility by increasing recommended therapy through home-assisted rehabilitation during daily living activities.

After a stroke, patients experience reduced mobility due to weakened signals from the brain to the muscles, resulting in limited movement. A wearable device has been developed to detect and strength the weakened signals in the affected limb using vibration delivered by the device. By strengthening these signals, patients can recover and increase the activation of the affected muscles, enabling them to regain meaningful movements. The study aims to assess the devices abilities to detect the weakened signals and evaluate patients’ perception to the device. Trials will then be run on a small number of patients to compare the rehabilitation outcomes of patients who use the device and those who do not. With positive research findings, the intention is to attract further funding to carry out a larger clinical trial.


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