Thumbs Up for Stroke Recovery Sensor Glove

September 2011

Working under Professor Rosaire Mongrain as part of their department’s fourth-year capstone course, Mechanical Engineering undergraduate students Khaled El-Badawi, Oubai El Kerdi, Mahdi Taha and Karine Terzibachi have designed and built a prototype glove that has the potential to enable stroke victims to engage in rehabilitative exercises from the comfort of their home –– while having their progress monitored remotely by a physician or therapist.

The sensor glove works by tracking wrist, finger and hand movements while the wearer plays computer video games that can help rebuild strength and dexterity in areas that were affected by stroke.

Mechanical Engineering Student Mahdi Taha with the prototype Stroke Recovery Sensor Glove that he helped to design. (Photo: Owen Egan)

The movements performed by the patient can be followed virtually by a clinician, providing them a clear sense of the patient’s progress and enabling them to modify the therapy according to the patient’s needs.

The glove could also have numerous non-medical applications, Professor Mongrain says, as it is essentially a tool for teaching hand motions.

“For instance, you could use the sensor glove to practice your hold in golf or tennis, to see what path of motion you run through compared to a world-class golfer or tennis player.”

Probably more affordable

Similar technology already exists, but, with a retail price of up to $30,000, it is well beyond most pocketbooks.

The McGill students’ prototype costs significantly less to build, and Jintronix, the industry partner in this project, anticipates that the device could potentially be marketed for a lower amount.

Jintronix already has strong McGill connections: the Montreal-based start-up is run by McGill medical student Justin Tan (who also holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from MIT and a Masters in Public Health from Cambridge), and eight of the nine employers are current McGill students or graduates.

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