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UMP’s innovation helps stroke patients

Pekan, 26 January – A group of Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) researchers has successfully developed rehabilitation device for stroke patients.
Lecturer from Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FKM), Zulkifli Ahmad informed that the R&D was ideated from his meeting with rehabilitation specialist from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) whom shared the difficulties faced by stroke patients. The R&D was assisted by Mr. Idris Mat Sahat and Dr. Saiful Anwar Che Ghani from FKM.

Through collaboration with Pn Narimah Daud, Head of Rehabilitation Unit, Department of Allied Health, IIUM Kuantan, he had successfully completed the R&D on March 2015.

According to him, the research was focusing on the rehabilitation device to assist in diagnosis of the recovery level of the stroke patients through body weight balance measurement.

“Current practice on the stroke patients is through observation without any specific electronic device that could assists in the diagnosis. Hence, with the assistance from students and staff, we have developed a device to quantify the weight balance of the patient”.

“This shoe soles are equipped with pressure sensors at the bottom to detect the weight generated on it. The weight is measured when the stroke patient stand on it”.

“In standard practice, physiotherapist will instruct the patient to take the sit-to-stand test of which the patient is required to sit and stand during the test. Prior to the measurement taken, patient’s feet need to be put exactly on the insole device and later the patient is requested to stand and the pressure sensors will take the reading of both feet based on the pressure put on it”, said Zulkifli Ahmad.

He added that if the stroke patient is paralysed on the left side of the body, the weight will be shifted to the right side of the body. The measured weight information will be displayed on the smartphone screen using the Android application developed by the research group. To determine the success of the rehabilitation, the patient must be able to balance their body weight.

“I plan to add voice function to the developed Android Apps to give instructions to the patients to balance their body weight during rehabilitation session instead of relying to the physiotherapist instructions”.

“Therefore, this device can be used by the patients at home without having to go to the physio clinic. Other than that, this device can be equipped with SD card to store physio activities undergone by the patients during at home rehabilitation”.

“All they have to do is bring the SD card to the clinic for further analysis by the therapist. Thus, this device will helps in reducing the physio therapist works and visitations of the patients for therapy session at the clinic”, he explained.

He wished that this device will be commercialised and made available for all stroke patients with body imbalance problem. The cost of this device is approximately RM750, inclusive of the Android Apps.

The R&D have successfully awarded with gold medal at the Creation, Innovation, Technology & Research Exposition (CITREX ’15) and silver medal at the International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition (ITEX’15).

He hope that this device will be made available nationwide especially at the hospitals, clinics and medical centers since it is a cheaper option as compared to the expensive imported devices that cost thousands of Ringgit.

“Most importantly, this device can improve the recovery speed of the stroke patients”, he emphasized.