A 3D printed polymer glove that can allow an attendant of a stroke victim to conduct daily physiotherapy sessions at home for months, is the latest innovation from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, which is teaming up with the Manipal group forfor clinical trials.
The scientists who developed the physiotherapy gloves said similar wearable devices could be made for any limb, depending on the requirements of a paralytic patient. A physiotherapist or a family member can operate it by either wearing an identical device or using a smartphone application.
“The biggest advantage is that a physiotherapist can measure the muscle strength and how the mobility or flexibility of a finger (in case of a hand) is changing,” team leader Aveek Bid, an associate professor at the Department of Physics at IISc said.
“We hope that such a glove may cost around Rs 1,000 a piece. But we will have to first carry out the clinical trial for which we are seeking permissions,” Bid said.
The device is highly sensitive – enough to respond to the touch of a butterfly, says team member Abhijit Chandra Roy, a physicist and one of the brains behind the project. In addition, while existing devices can only detect the bending of a finger, the new device can even measure the degree of bending at every joint of the finger, he explains.