Xbox incorporated into pioneering stroke rehabilitation technology

Medical equipment developers have used technology from and Xbox to create a pioneering new device that measures hand joint movement and will help stroke patients to work on their manual agility from home.

The technology is the product of joint research carried out between the University of Southampton and Roke Manor Research Ltd (Roke), a Chemring company.

The equipment uses an Xbox Kinect to monitor limb movements, but the team from the university has combined it with an algorithm that tracks and measures hand joint angles and the fine dexterity of individual finger movements.

It is hoped that the device will eventually allow therapists to capture the date from patients while they follow exercise on a TV screen.

Dr Cheryl Metcalf, from the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences, said that the aim of the technology was to provide a more engaging way to help stroke patients to recover faster.

“Through our research we know that many people recovering from a stroke find their at-home exercises repetitive and often demotivating,” she explained. “If they are already finding it difficult and frustrating to move their hands, they need something to encourage them to try harder.”

“Using the Kinect we have been able to take a commercially available product and develop a highly novel tool that aims to be both cost effective and clinically applicable.”

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