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Wearable Sensors Could Improve Treatment for Motor-Skill Impairments

Every year in the United States almost 800,000 people suffer a stroke, an affliction which results in blood flow being cut off from the brain.

Eric Wade

Wade

Strokes can impair mobility, speech, and cognition, and the recovery process and the ability to return to normal life can be daunting for survivors and their families.

New research being led by UT mechanical engineers could soon change that.

Eric Wade, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering, recently led a team that developed a way to measure functional motor ability in those who have suffered a stroke. Funding from the National Institutes of Health supported that breakthrough.

Wade said the study shows that stroke patients, like everyone else who goes to a doctor, tend to overstate the amount of rehab that they do on their own.

His team helped develop wearable sensors that track how survivors use their upper limbs when they aren’t being observed or supervised by their doctor. This knowledge could greatly improve how the design of patient treatment plans.

Continue reading at tntoday.utk.edu.