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Brendan O’Flynn, James Connolly, Joan Condell, Kevin Curran, and Philip Gardiner (2013)

Novel Smart Sensor Glove for Arthritis Rehabilitation

In: Body Sensor Networks Conference.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a disease which attacks the synovial tissue lubricating skeletal joints. This systemic condition affects the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles and tendons that contribute to loss of function and Range of Motion (ROM). Traditional measurement of arthritis requires labour intensive personal examination by medical staff which through their objective measures may hinder the enactment and analysis of arthritis rehabilitation. This paper presents the development of a smart glove to facilitate this rehabilitative process through the integration of sensors, processors and wireless technology to empirically measure ROM. The Tyndall/University of Ulster glove uses a combination of 20 bend sensors, 16 tri-axial accelerometers and 11 force sensors to detect joint movement. All sensors are placed on a flexible PCB to provide high levels of flexibility and sensor stability. The system operation means that the glove does not require calibration for each glove wearer.