People who are recovering from a stroke or from other health conditions that have an impact on hand movement can now go through a new type of rehabilitation that’s based on a system called MusicGlove.
Developed by Irvine, CA-based Flint Rehabilitation Devices, the MusicGlove couldn’t have had a more self-descriptive name. It is worn as a glove on the hand that was affected by the stroke, and it gathers data regarding the fingers that are moving. Upon doing so, the wearer receives some visual feedback that motivates him or her to focus on the fingers that require more exercise. Now this is where it gets interesting: the visual feedback is provided in a manner that resembles the GuitarHero video game quite a lot. Come to think of it, this pretty much explains the first part of the device’s name.
Here is a fragment of the announcement:
“In addition to being fun and effective, MusicGlove changes the way clinics provide hand therapy. The device requires minimum intervention from a therapist while users play the game, so clinics can provide more intensive group therapy without increasing staff. MusicGlove also records accurate quantitative data that allows therapists to set goals for their patients and track functional improvements over time. The low price and ease of use of MusicGlove is a breath of fresh air for clinics that typically do not have access to other smart rehabilitation technology and equipment that can cost over $50,000USD and require advanced training to use.
Results of a randomized controlled trial of MusicGlove with individuals with stroke published in the Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation showed that people using MusicGlove had significantly greater improvements in hand function than people doing conventional hand exercises after only two weeks. Users reported regaining the ability to open doorknobs, type on a keyboard, wash dishes, use silverware, bathe and wash themselves, and use the restroom independently after exercising with the device.”
The gamification of various activities seems to be fruitful not only when it comes to apps such as the old Foursquare, but also in medical recovery.
MusicGlove is available for sale on the manufacturer’s website, in two different versions. The home version costs $1,149, while the clinic version will set customers back a whooping $4,199.
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