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New 3D printed gloves may revolutionise stroke therapy.

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Peeyush Ghalot
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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science's Department of Physics have invented a soft, wearable gadget that uses the fundamental properties of light to sense a patient's limb or finger motions, with the goal of assisting stroke victims. The configurable 3D printed gloves can be operated remotely, allowing physiotherapists to provide teleconsultation. Physiotherapy is one of the few treatments for stroke victims and patients with physical impairments, but it can take days to months to recover, depending on the severity of the condition, making it difficult for patients and their caregivers. The device has been evaluated for stability for over ten months, and there has been no loss in sensitivity or accuracy. The device was created entirely in India and is estimated to cost less than $1,000. The device has been granted a patent, and the researchers expect to release it soon.

(Image Courtesy: - The Hindu)

The device is used like a glove, and the physiotherapist controls it through the internet from a remote location, moving your hands and fingers. The device can detect factors such as pressure, bending angle, and shape, as well as numerous hand and finger movements. The device's technology is based on refraction and reflection, which are two fundamental aspects of light. A light source is attached to one end of a transparent rubbery substance, while a light detector is attached to the other. The flexible material deforms as the patient moves his or her finger or arm. The distortion changes the light's path and thus its properties. This change in light characteristics is converted into a measurable unit by the gadget. Because light spans the length of the gadget, movement along any region of the patient's finger or arm can be measured precisely. The researcher designed the device out of a silicon-based polymer material that is transparent, soft, and 3D printed. It may be adjusted to fit the arm and fingers of each patient. The device may take and retain data and transmit it over the internet, allowing physicians or physiotherapists to monitor patients remotely.

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