A Doctor of Medicine Explains Rehabilitation and Digital Technology (Part 2)
The second part: Expectations for “EsoGLOVE™” from the Field of Neurorehabilitation
Functionality and effectiveness of EsoGLOVE™
The function of EsoGLOVE™
EsoGLOVE™ is an exoskeleton-type soft robotic glove designed to help recover hand motor functions patients suffering from neurological injuries such as stroke. The following describes the features that I found particularly advantageous about this device compared to existing products.
1. Wide variety of exercise modes
The current EsoGLOVE™ system consists of nine passive mobilization exercises and eight active-assisted exercises, which we can set modes to suit each patient’s ability.
Passive mobilization exercise means that even if the patient cannot move his fingers at all, he can bend and stretch them by electrical stimulation. 1) Meanwhile, active-assisted exercise assists patients who can partially move their fingers with electrical stimulation. 1) Patients with severe flaccid paralysis can dynamically stimulate contract muscles. When voluntary contraction becomes possible, the patients will practice more precise movements with active-assisted exercises. In other words, it is possible to use different functions according to the severity of motor paralysis.
2. Biofeedback function
EsoGLOVE™ does not simply support moving the fingers, but it can also be connected to a PC to view images linked to the exercise mode. This synchronization of movement and visual effects (biofeedback function) is considered to stimulate neural plasticity and enhance the recovery effect of motor paralysis. In addition, the input of visual stimuli during movement of the paralyzed limb is expected to prevent learned nonuse and heighten brain activation.
3. Excellent wearability and portability
The glove-shaped EsoGLOVE™ is easy to wear, making it suitable for the task-oriented training described in the first part of the article. The control box weighs only 2.5 kg, and the glove weighs only 150-180 gm. It enables functional task training and offers great comfort. Since the glove is easy to carry, we can use it in wards, bedside, and even at home. I believe that it will enable us to intervene from the hyperacute bedside rehabilitation stage to prevent disuse muscle atrophy, provide sensory stimulation input, and provide continuous care daily.
EsoGLOVE™ brings functional changes to the brain
There is also scientific evidence to suggest that EsoGLOVE™ may improve motor paralysis.
In a study by Dr. Fatima Nasrallah and colleagues, nine subjects with hand paralysis due to stroke (24.3 ± 17.1 months post-onset) were tested with EsoGLOVE™ for functional changes in the brain. The paper reported that the activity of the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the primary motor area (S1), which are brain regions that control movement, was significantly increased when participants performed a finger bending task with both hands after passive mobilization exercise using EsoGLOVE™. 2)
Further studies on early-stage patients and randomized controlled trials will give more evidence for the efficacy of EsoGLOVE™. I also hope that the clinically validated medical robot EsoGLOVE™ will be introduced and established as a new standard in rehabilitation.
We have not received any rewards from the publishers for writing this manuscript.
Roceso Technologies is a world pioneer in soft robotic exoskeleton technologies and leader in neurological technologies. Its soft robotic solutions provide functional assistance to patients with limb motor function impairments during rehabilitation and daily living. The company’s flagship product, the EsoGLOVE™, is one of the world lightest hand rehabilitation and exoskeleton devices offering top functionality and comfort. EsoGLOVE™ Hand Rehabilitation System has been registered with FDA, approved by EU (CE), Singapore (HAS), Japan (FDA), Korea (FDA), Malaysia (MDA) and Australia (TGA).
On top of EsoGLOVE™ system, Roceso Technologies is also offering rehabilitation assessment, gamification, and platform technologies. The company has clinical partners around the globe and distribution network in more than 10 countries. Their distribution partner in Japan is Inter Reha Co. Limited. https://www.irc-web.co.jp/
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