Hand rehabilitation for stroke survivors
A stroke can occur at any time and any age. Every stroke is different, in many cases there may still be very slight movements available in the affected hand. Current physiotherapy involves simple repetitive exercises, though even these are very difficult for the patients.This can discourage them from practising the exercises, leaving them disheartened and frustrated. When a stroke survivor has only flicker movements in their fingers, the brain has not yet fully figured out how to ‘rewire’ the grip function. The original GripAble is a sensitive games controller that the patient squeezes; it communicates with a tablet that lets the user play games, making exercise much more engaging. The aim was to improve the design for use at home, not just in hospitals. The outcome is a two-part lightweight games controller. From the bed to the armchair, the GripAble can be used at different stages of recovery to strengthen and improve stroke sufferers’ physical ability and independence.