The road to recovery for stroke victims and patients with spinal cord or brain injuries often includes the slow and difficult process of retraining the brain to perform simple and routine tasks that most of us take for granted, such as grasping and turning a doorknob. The MusicGlove from Flint Rehabilitation Devices is an FDA-approved device that has been clinically shown to help patients improve their hand control in just two weeks.
Sensors in the glove detect when patients makes certain movements with their fingers. This is coupled with a game similar to Guitar Hero, that requires patients to make certain motions in time with music. The system costs far less than traditional physical therapy devices, and requires less time and assistance from physical therapists. In fact, a home version of the system is available for $1,099.
The company has just announced a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This includes $1 million for new clinical trials of the device. 20 patients with spinal cord injuries will take part in a study at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Two groups of 20 stroke victims also will participate in studies at UCI and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. The additional validation of the system could lead to broader adoption of the device.