Effective bilateral hand training is desired in rehabilitation programs to restore hand function for people with unilateral hemiplegia, so that they can perform daily activities independently. However, owing to limited human resources, the hand function training available in current clinical settings is significantly less than the adequate amount needed to drive optimal neural reorganization. In this study, we designed a lightweight and portable hand exoskeleton with a hand-sensing glove for bilateral hand training and home-based rehabilitation. The hand-sensing glove measures the hand movement of the less-affected hand using a flex sensor. Thereafter, the affected hand is driven by the hand exoskeleton using the measured hand movements. Compared with the existing hand exoskeletons, our hand exoskeleton improves the flexible mechanism for the back of the hand for better wearing experience and the thumb mechanism to make the pinch gesture possible. We designed a virtual reality game to increase the willingness of repeated movement practice for rehabilitation. Our system not only facilitates bilateral hand training but also assists in activities of daily living. This system could be beneficial for patients with hemiplegia for starting correct and sufficient hand function training in the early stages to optimize their recovery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Biomedical Engineering
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Biochemistry