Using low cost sensors to augment an upper limb trainer with automated movement feedback
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Collins, R., Tarfali, G. & Kerr, A. (2017) Using low cost sensors to augment an upper limb trainer with automated movement feedback. In: UK Stroke Forum Abstracts, 2017. International Journal of Stroke, 12(5 suppl.), p. 29.
Introduction: The recovery of upper limb movement is a major concern for stroke survivors. While the majority recover some function, it is often insufficient for activities of daily living. Repetitive arm movement can help improve recovery, however this can be difficult to perform independently. The Move-Able arm trainer (Move-Able Ltd, UK) is a user friendly device designed for stroke survivors to exercise their upper limb on their own, however, at present it lacks the ability to provide performance feedback.Methods: This investigation aimed to evaluate the addition of proximity sensors (Phidgets Inc., Canada) to the trainer to provide real-time feedback (task completion and speed of completion) and track progress. 10 participants at least 6 months post-ictus (age: 50–80 years) with hemiplegia affecting their upper limb took part in this investigation. Each participant performed a simple reach to grasp movement, with and without the augmented trainer. At the end of each session, an independent interviewer conducted a 15 minute interview with each participant to retrieve user feedback.Results: The addition of feedback was well received as a motivational tool (‘‘Liked the feedback on number of repeat movements’’), though some improvements to the augmented trainer were suggested (‘‘set a target’’; ‘‘could be better if there was a goal to achieve’’).Conclusion: The use of simple, low cost sensors during upper limb exercises appears desirable. It is therefore recommended that the use of sensors to detect task completion be used to augment this user friendly upper limb trainer for use in home based upper limb rehabilitation.