Robotic hand should help people with a stroke recover

European scientists come up with a robotic hand that can be worn by people who have had a stroke. The hand assists the wearer with physical training and this should lead to recovery. The performance is automatically passed on to the doctor.

The research is led by the University of Hertfordshire in collaboration with a number of European partners, united in script. The institutes are jointly working on a robot hand for people who are struggling with the physical consequences of a stroke. They often have physical problems after a brain haemorrhage or stroke, especially with the fine motor skills in their hands. The robotic hand should help improve this.

The device does this by helping the wearer with movement. Repeated movements should help stroke people regain their motor skills in the hand and wrist: the robotic hand supports this process and also sends the progress to the treating physician. They can then adjust the training program remotely.

Two prototypes of the robotic hand have been developed, which are now also being tested in humans. In a clinical study, 30 people were provided with the hand, who used it to exercise an average of 100 minutes per week. Follow-up research should show whether people also improve physically after a stroke with the help of the robotic hand.