An emerging startup aims to develop a soft robotic glove and digital health platform as an aid in hand mobility rehabilitation for stroke survivors.
Physical rehabilitation for motor impairment post-stroke involves high repetition of movement in order to retrain the brain on how to move the hand. Access to conventional rehabilitation therapy is limited when there are travel and financial burdens for either patient or practitioner. As healthcare shifts to the virtual space, wearable robotics can provide clinically effective in-home rehabilitation systems by manipulating limbs for treatment and assessment. The soft robotic glove and digital health platform developed by researchers in Conor Walsh's Harvard lab offers a personalized hand mobility rehabilitation aid for stroke survivors. Actuators within the glove enhance the range and strength of the movement, and sensors enable fine-resolution remote assessment of patients’ motion and dexterity. Telerehab between patient and therapist can utilize the feedback to dynamically modify the rehabilitation program in real time and assess progress. An emerging startup, Imago Rehab, aims to commercialize the hand rehabilitation glove for use at home by stroke survivors.