University of Twente Student Theses


Improving the 'Arm Usage Coach'

HEUMEN, L. VAN (2015) Improving the 'Arm Usage Coach'.

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Abstract:Every year, fifteen million people suffer from a stroke worldwide, making it a global problem. [1] One of the more common disabilities that results from stroke is a paresis of half the body. After intense rehabilitation, 50% of stroke survivors can make a functional recovery. However, after a recurrent appointment, it is often concluded that the regained motor function has attenuated. In order to provide on-body feedback to stroke patients, Peter Bartels has developed a system called the "Arm Usage Coach". This system can be used to make stroke patients aware of the fact that they need to keep using their affected limbs. The original system worked fine, but came with some shortcomings. This report explores an improved design to the Arm Usage Coach, which combats these shortcomings while attempting to retain the basic functionality of the system. Four supporting research questions were composed in order to achieve the main goal. Firstly, the original system is described and its shortcomings are researched. It was found that the main problems with the system were comfort, size and cost. This was mainly because of the Components of the Shelf nature of the system. In order to retain the functionality of the system, two BITalino toolkits are used to track arm movement(s) of the patient. This data is sent to a personal computer running MATLAB, which performs calculations on these movements. Feedback is given through a LilyPad arduino Vibe Board, which is connected to one of the BITalino toolkits. Four container designs were developed and tested using eight healthy subjects. From this evaluation, a single design was chosen, expanded and used as the container for the Arm Usage Coach v2. The Arm Usage Coach v2 was tested using five healthy subjects and the same usability scales that were used in the design of the Arm Usage Coach v1. These initial tests show that the Arm Usage Coach v2 is on par with v1 when it comes to usability. The system was also described as being comfortable, non intrusive and pleasant. The new Arm Usage Coach is smaller and less expensive than it's predecessor. Still some problems remain and some design choices have to be reconsidered before the system can be used on stroke patients.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:02 science and culture in general, 44 medicine
Programme:Biomedical Technology BSc (56226)
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