Smart sleeve for stroke patients seeks to aid in faster recovery

smart sleeve stroke
As wearables delve further and further into the realm of treatment (in addition to mere tracking), scientists are finding more and more innovative ways to integrate medicine into technology. The latest in this trend appears to be a wireless sleeve that may help stroke victims recover mobility in their arms and hands. Developed by researchers at Southampton University, this smart sleeve seeks to provide data regarding muscle movement and strength as its wearer engages in everyday at-home tasks. This information will then be transmitted to a computer, tablet, or mobile device so that both the patient and his or her doctor can monitor progress, allowing for a more tailored rehabilitation approach.

The project, funded by the National Institute for Health Research to the tune of $1.4 million, is expected to span the course of two years and will involve scientists from across the United Kingdom. The Imperial College London, as well as medical technology consultancies Maddison and Tactiq will be collaborating to bring this concept to term. But this large-scale investment is expected to pay off in a major way, especially considering the number of individuals such a device could positively impact. “About 150,000 people in the U.K. have a stroke each year and, despite improvements in acute care that results in better survival rates, about 60 percent of people with moderate to severe strokes fail to recover useful function of their arm and hand,” said Jane Burridge, professor of restorative neuroscience at Southampton.

“Stroke rehabilitation is increasingly home-based, as patients are often discharged from hospital after only a few days,” she added, noting that such a practice “encourages independence” among patients. Still, she admits, “some patients struggle to carry out the exercises and they may question whether what they are doing is correct. Similarly therapists don’t have objective measurements about their patients’ muscle activity or ability to move.” But with the new smart sleeve, Burridge and her team hope to address the problems on both sides of the equation.

The sleeve is expected to be the first to combine mechanomyography (MMG) microphone-like sensors, which detect muscle vibrations upon contraction, with movement sensors like tri-axial accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers that detect movement. “We hope that our sleeve will help stroke patients regain the use of their arm and hand, reduce time spent with therapists and allow them to have the recommended 45 minutes daily therapy more flexibly,” Burridge concluded. It will also be used to assess patients’ problems accurately as well as more cheaply and practically than using laboratory-based technologies.”

Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Health & Fitness

Looking to get in shape? These high-tech fitness gadgets will help

There are a number of great fitness devices that aren't smartphones or fitness trackers, providing functionality that those products can't while helping us to stay healthier and injury free in pursuit of our goals.
Mobile

Google Fit app finally gets a widget, among other new features

Google Fit hasn't received any new features since its redesign. This week, the company is rolling some new tools; users will be able to add a widget to their Android home screen, adjust the intensity of their workouts, and more.
Deals

Amazon is slashing its prices on an array of top blenders

Quality blenders from Vitamix to Ninja and more are on sale at Amazon — just in time to gift them for Christmas. They're great for preparing tasty treats, and as a kitchen staple, they make a great gift for the budding chef in your life.
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Smart Home

Alexa’s latest skill helps patients manage high blood pressure

People who need some help managing their high blood pressure are getting some help via a new Alexa skill developed in partnership with Omron Healthcare that will work directly with the manufacturer's monitors.
Wearables

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.