World News – US – Launch of a new portable arm rehabilitation device to help patients practice robot-assisted therapy at home


New portable arm rehabilitation robot will help patients perform robot-assisted therapy at home, allowing them to perform intensive exercises without visiting hospitals or clinics, which can potentially reduce the risk exposure to infectious diseases such as COVID-19 The robot can also be used in hospitals and outpatient facilities such as nursing homes and clinics

The compact robot, known as the H-Man, has been shown to be effective in helping patients improve mobility in their upper limbs in a clinical trial involving 60 stroke patients in rehabilitation

Currently, most robots used for rehabilitation purposes weigh up to 70 kg, require a special reinforced housing, are very expensive and are located in hospitals where their operation is managed by occupational therapists

In comparison, H-Man weighs 14 kg and can be placed on a normal table Consisting of a joystick-shaped handle and a large screen, the patient performs prescribed tasks displayed on the screen, such as playing to a game, while the robot evaluates its progress and sends feedback to the wireless therapists

The intelligent robot was developed over eight years by scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) in collaboration with rehabilitation physicians and occupational therapists from the Center for Advanced Rehabilitation Therapeutics (CART) of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) Rehabilitation Center

After the clinical trials were completed, the technology was commercialized and turned into ARTICARES by NTUitve, NTU’s business and innovation company Within three years, ARTICARES grew into a successful business with a strong international presence, particularly in Australia, Germany and China

The head of the NTU research team, Associate Professor Domenico Campolo, co-founder of ARTICARES, said his initial goal was to develop an affordable and portable robot that post-stroke patients could use for a rehabilitation therapy at home or in the community contexts at their own pace with minimal supervision, in addition to conventional therapy

With an aging population in Singapore, we can expect to see more elderly people with upper limb movements affected by stroke or other injuries Our intelligent robot is designed to allow patients to practice in the comfort of their own home with minimal assistance from therapists It also improves the reach of rehabilitation physicians and occupational therapists as they can supervise more patients this way than through individual hospital visits »

Karen Chua, Adjunct Associate Professor, Senior Consultant at the Department of Rehabilitative Medicine, TTSH, and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at NTU, who led the clinical trials of H-Man from 2014 to 2018, said: The machine targeted intelligent and intensive training to help stroke patients regain sensorimotor control and strength, and translate them into functional use of their arms in combination with conventional therapy by occupational therapists. , lasting gains of up to 19 weeks have been observed after training, implying the sustainability of the training and this has been associated with high levels of patient safety and self-reported satisfaction among trained subjects The potential to hone the skills of rehabilitation professionals and improve their productivity is also an advantage for using robots in the clinic

« As ARTICARES is headquartered locally, this facilitated our next phase of collaboration, to foster smooth and efficient translation to the clinic, » said Assistant Professor Chua

ARTICLE CEO and Co-Founder Dr Asif Hussain, said that while there are other technological solutions for motor rehabilitation, most of them still require the patient to be present in the hospital and under constant surveillance

« When the patient is in the hospital they can receive quality therapy and care on a daily basis However, once they are released there will be gaps between each hospital therapy session with limited options or non-existent to continue treatment with the same quality, intensity and frequency on an outpatient basis, « said Dr Hussain, former researcher at NTU Robotics Research Center

« For stroke or head trauma patients, it is difficult for them to travel from home to hospital and back, so they often need a family member or help to help them Our hope is that the H-Man robot can help fill this gap by allowing them to do therapy in the day rehabilitation center, clinic or even at home nearby, as we have clinically demonstrated its therapeutic efficacy and safety »

In clinical trials, patients using H-man successfully improved their mobility at the same rate as conventional therapy An assessment of their Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) scores showed an average increase over 6 weeks of training in 46% for H-Man compared to conventional therapy and the long-term retention of learning observed at the follow-up stage with FMA was also on average 20% higher. Four of the subjects, successfully trained with the H- Man in their own home for three days, this time under the supervision of their caregivers

Specially designed games to help patients stay motivated and learn in a fun way are displayed on the H-Man screen Patients play the games using a joystick-shaped handle that can sense the strength of the patient’s arm. patient and increase or decrease the difficulty of performing tasks in many therapeutically beneficial ways, depending on the patient’s individual needs, thereby helping them to relearn sensorimotor control and apply it to activities of daily living

The device is easy to set up and use, and H-Man can be equipped with a variety of soft grips, including grips integrated with a sensor, to meet the needs of the user and their therapist

To control games and programming on the H-Man, a digital platform called CARE has been designed based on input and feedback from TTSH rehabilitation doctors and occupational therapists. An automatic reporting feature also allows clinicians to remotely monitor their patients’ recovery

Going forward, ARTICARES plans to further harness technologies such as robotics and AI to improve healthcare delivery and improve people’s lives

« It doesn’t stop there Our vision is to make rehabilitation more accessible and affordable so that we can reach as many patients as possible and help them maximize their rehabilitation potential This is now even more important with the current situation we are facing with COVID-19 where social distancing is becoming the new normal We hope that by using our technologies they can regain their mobility in a shorter timeframe and resume their normal daily life This would not have been possible without the enormous support of the NTU, TTSH and the National Council for Medical Research ”, adds Dr Asif Hussain

Dr Alex Lin, Acting CEO of NTUitive, said: “The H-Man by ARTICARES is a prime example of how university technologies are successfully transferred from the lab to the market to meet the needs real and pressing of society We are proud to have guided the team through the commercialization process to make the H-Man available to stroke patients as part of their rehabilitation journey. »

Speaking on the long-standing collaboration between ARTICARES, the Center for Medical Technologies and Innovations (CMTi) of the National Healthcare Group (NHG) and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at TTSH, Associate Professor Thomas Lew, Clinical Director , NHG CMTi; and Group Director of Data and Strategy, NHG, said, “This partnership was first forged when CMTi facilitated a research project between TTSH and NTU to develop a labor-effective rehabilitation solution. work for patients with neurological lesions He contributed to the success of the ARTICARES spin-off to introduce H-Man to patient care and the research community, both locally and internationally We will continue to work together on a pipeline of devices dedicated to the rehabilitation of the upper and lower limbs, and systems for remote tele-rehabilitation therapy « 

Kager, S, et al (2020) Work With Me, Not For Me: Relationship Between Robotic Assistance and Performance in Subacute and Chronic Stroke Patients Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering is what jeorg / 101177/2055668319881583

Tags: aging, brain, clinical trial, education, efficacy, frequency, healthcare, hospital, infectious diseases, medical research, medical school, medicine, nursing, research, research project, stroke, students , therapeutic, translation

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Stroke, physical medicine and rehabilitation, Nanyang Technological University, clinic, rehabilitation robotics, research

News world – United States – Launch of a new portable rehabilitation device arm to help patients perform robot-assisted therapy at home
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