De La Salle University (DLSU) Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Health Technologies (DLSU-IBEHT) has developed wearable robots named “Agapay” and “Tayô” to assist the country’s 33,000 licensed physical therapists in rehabilitation treatments.
The two projects, the first pure Filipino-made physical therapy equipment supported by the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), were presented to the public in July during the National Science and Technology Week where DOST also presented the nuLab education yellow bus and DOST’s first Ambassador, Chris Tiu.
“Agapay” is designed as a wearable robot that acts as an external skeleton which can assist the motor movements of the patients. The artificial intelligence-assisted therapy innovation technology is user-friendly and adjustable to the patients’ specifications. The primary target patients of this technology are stroke patients.
Among Agapay’s many features are the following:
- aids the upper limbs (shoulder, elbow, wrist) of patients so they can regain their motor control
- Surface Electromyography (SEMG) enables it to detect muscle contraction
- uses a biofeedback mechanism system that trains patients to recover on their own by controlling bodily processes that usually happens involuntarily such as heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension
- includes games that simulate real life to reduce the patients’ fear and anxiety during the rehabilitation process
This new development in physical therapy technology already has three working prototypes, according to the DOST release sent to Good News Pilipinas.
The Tayô Project is a wearable machine that assists physical therapists to minimize lifting, mobilizing, and transferring patients.
Among the Tayô device features are the following:
- intended for the lower extremities of the body
- a multifunctional device that acts as a 3D-printed external skeleton for lower limb and early trunk rehabilitation
- aims to restore the motion, strength, and ability of patients to stand through performing exercises and various gamification software
- requires electricity but consumes minimal power only
The Tayô project is now at the clinical testing stage and is set to be completed by May 2020.
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