Smart Glove: A Study on Usability

Abstract

Approximately 800,000 people/year in the US suffer a stroke, and 55-75% of these individuals are left with impaired function in the affected hand/arm. With costs of health care rising (estimated stroke care cost ~ $30 billion/year), access to rehabilitation care in the future may be limited. We have developed a prototype low-cost bi-manual instrumented glove (Smart Glove) designed to be interfaced with virtual reality scenes that will provide increased access to hand and arm rehabilitation by allowing patients to practice independently at home. The intent of the Smart Glove is to gain motor control of the arm, wrist and fingers in patients with stroke. ææThe purpose of this study is to test the usability of the Smart Glove system in healthy and disabled subjects. We will examine the preferences for virtual reality scenes that utilize two different training methods; direct and indirect mapping, the effectiveness of the computer scoring system, ease of use of system interface, training features, and system safety. The usability will be evaluated via questionnaires and open-ended comments from therapists and users of the Smart Glove. æThese Phase I results will guide system modifications to promote better operation, in preparation for Phase 2 of the study, which will compare the efficacy of direct versus indirect virtual reality mapping on promoting motor learning in patients with stroke.