Wristbot: A Novel Device for Assessment of Proprioceptive Deficits after Stroke

Project IDRRG1/16003
PartnerTan Tock Seng Hospital
FocusPrecision Rehabilitation
Clinical PI
Dr Karen CHUA Sui Geok
Senior Consultant, Rehabilitation Medicine
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Technical PI
A/Prof Domenico CAMPOLO
Director, Robotics Research Centre
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Nanyang Technological University


The challenge

Upper limb impairment after stroke affects around 66% of survivors and only around 40% regain partial functional use of their limb after rehabilitation. Proprioceptive (body awareness deficits) are also apparent in around 37% of subjects, which negatively impacts therapy efficacy on motor recovery.

Robot Aided rehabilitation is a widely accepted method with the potential to reduce motor impairments, but the sensory assessment has been never considered and targeted. Emerging evidence suggests that assessment of proprioception may improve the rehabilitation efficacy and better target the therapy, leading to more tangible results at discharge.


The proposed solution

WristBot is a robotic system designed to perform an objective assessment of sensory-motor deficits of the wrist.

It has been validated in several clinical trials, including in chronic stroke patients. Its unique feature employs a newly conceived methodology to achieve intensive, task-specific protocols and to accurately quantify the proprioceptive impairment.

We tested the WristBot to assess proprioception in a sample of 50 acute/subacute strokes with arm motor impairments during inpatient rehabilitation, and determined any correlations between standardised motor, sensory and functional outcomes pre/post inpatient rehabilitation programme and at one-month post discharge.

The hypotheses are that WristBot can safely and quickly objectify sensory deficits on admission and track changes across therapy with higher sensitivities than standardised tools, providing clinical personnel with an accurate quantification of the sensory motor deficits across the therapy.

Study methodology uses a prospective, clinical trial on stroke patients, with clinical, functional and WristBot measurements taken at three fixed time points. Results will be used to improve the platform and the proposed methodology.