Agapay project develops robotic arm prototype for stroke patient rehab

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The Agapay Project has developed a robotic device to provide accessible healthcare options to all Filipinos.

The initiative by De La Salle University to design and develop cost-effective robotic exoskeletons for stroke and injury rehabilitation has completed their robotic arm rehabilitation device prototype.

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), the research team, composed of biomedical engineers from De La Salle University and rehabilitation experts from University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital, created two robotic exoskeleton prototypes with a biofeedback mechanism for rehabilitation of post-stroke and injured patients by assisting motor movements in the shoulder, arm, and hand.

The biomedical devices, which were 3D-printed, offers a cost effective solution to production and works by utilizing a real-time biofeedback system which records neuromuscular activity using surface electromyography (sEMG).

The DOST-PCHRD reported how the AGAPAY team demonstrated in a research symposium in De La Salle University Manila, how the upper limb prototype mimicked the 7 degrees of mobility found in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists of patients, showing its potential use for physical therapy and rehabilitation.

The second part of the demonstration showcased the lightweight, portable, and kinematic 3d-printed hand prototype model that aids mobility via a cable system.

With the completion of the first phase, the AGAPAY project will start its second phase this October, conducting safety testing and preclinical trials until August 2018, and eventually move forward with clinical trials and manufacturing for its third and fourth phases, respectively.

The AGAPAY Project team is led by Dr. Nilo Bugtai.

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