Wrist-worn Sensors for Tele-Rehabilitation of the Hemiparetic Upper-Extremity

Period of Performance: 11/03/2016 - 10/31/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

BioSensics LLC
Principal Investigator
Principal Investigator


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Wrist-worn Sensors for Tele-Rehabilitation of the Hemiparetic Upper-Extremity: Stroke and other causes of central nervous system damage can result in debilitating loss of motor control that is often more pronounced in one limb than the other. Using or attempting to use the affected limb during activities of daily living, despite considerable difficulty, stimulates neuroplasticity and motor function recovery. BioSensics, in partnership with the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, will develop wrist-worn sensors for motor retraining after stroke. Our simple technology will encourage affected limb use during the performance of activities of daily living, will remind patients to perform daily prescribed motor control exercises in the home environment, and will assess the quality of limb movement during these exercises. We hypothesize that adding long-term monitoring and biofeedback using wrist-worn sensors to traditional therapies will improve motor ability following stroke; particularly in cases where a high dosage of physical and occupational therapy is not feasible due to insurance coverage, lack of transportation, geography, or other limiting factors. The proposed device is the only telehealth system designed to encourage usage of the affected limb during activities of daily living. Many technologies exist to remotely monitor movement using wearable sensors, but none address the specific needs of patients with hemiparesis. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity to develop a first-to-market technology in this space. The team we have assembled for this collaborative project includes engineers, clinicians, and scientists from BioSensics (a privately held biomedical technology development company) and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (the largest provider of rehabilitation medicine in New England). During Phase I of this Fast-Track SBIR project we will develop the wrist-worn sensors and test algorithms for assessing the quality and quantity of upper-limb movement in the home environment based on acceleration measured by these sensors. During Phase II we will develop the telehealth infrastructure for the proposed system, including a home base station that receives daily movement summaries from the wrist-worn sensors and uploads the data via WiFi or LAN to a HIPAA compliant server, and a website that clinicians can use to visualize data and remotely set patient specific exercise regimens and activity goals. We will also conduct a usability study and a clinical study at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The clinical study will compare rehabilitation outcomes between 30 patients with upper-extremity hemiparesis following stroke who receive standard care and supplemental home-based therapy and 30 patients who receive the same intervention but use the proposed system. There is a significant commercialization potential for the proposed technology due to 1) the size of the market, 2) the disruptive nature of our first-to-market technology, and 3) the ongoing national push for a transition from the current fee- for-service healthcare model to accountable-care-organization standards. We will have a market-ready device by the completion of Phase II with plans for a market launch during Phase III, pending FDA approval.