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Gaming Device May Help Stroke Patients to Train Affected Arm

Sep, 2021

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According to research, a rehabilitation tool designed by experts can train affected arm of stroke patients without needing any professional supervision.

A research team at Imperial College London created a tool for rehabilitation of arm in stroke patients. It can train affected arm by increasing number of exercises without needing any professional supervision. The device is called GripAble. It needs be held in the affected arm and can be used as a controller for games played on a wireless tablet that is connected to the device. The device GripAble has to be squeezed, lift up to control the gameplay, which in turn adds a range in strengthening of the arm.

As the device can detect the movements of the user, it vibrates in response to the movements.  Normally these exercises are performed in presence of a physiotherapist in clinics under supervision. However, GripAble makes it easy for patients to continue such physiotherapy rehab on their own without needing any supervision. As physiotherapy rehab could be tiresome for some, being able to play videogames with this device can help motivate patients making rehabilitation more interesting. A clinical trial was conducted by researchers in 2019 involving 30 stroke patients having weakness in arm.

The findings of the trial showed that 104 repetitions of arm strengthening exercises were performed by patients using GripAble where normal physiotherapy allowed them to perform average of 15. From the results of the trial, it can be concluded that GripAble device and other similar devices being easy to operate can accelerate the recovery by allowing patients to perform exercises on their own. The team plans to conduct further trials to assess the impact of GripAble on clinical outcomes.

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