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7 March 2024

Image is of an older woman sitting in a home, with a younger woman with dark curly hair and a white top, leaning towards her and smiling. The text says Device Enables Stroke Survivors to Speak Through Hands.

In an exciting and recent development in the field of assistive technology, a team of Chinese scientists have unveiled an experimental device offering hope for stroke survivors to communicate through precise hand movements. This wearable device, designed with a thin and flexible adhesive, adheres to the skin at the back of the wrist, providing a means for individuals affected by strokes to effectively “speak” through their hands.

Unlike conventional solutions such as sensory gloves, this device not only detects subtle movements but also allows the hand to remain free to interact with the surrounding environment. Crafted from dimethylsiloxane (PDMS) silicone—a soft, flexible, and biocompatible material—the device incorporates Fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs), which alter the properties of transmitted light as they bend with wrist or hand movements.

Dr. Quanxin Teng from Guilin University of Electronic Technology underscores the efficacy of combining PDMS and FBGs, noting that adjustments to the silicone’s thickness can enhance sensor sensitivity, enabling detection of even the most minute gestures, such as a slight finger bend or wrist twist. Remarkably, Morse code communication became feasible during tests following rapid individual calibration.

Researchers are now dedicated to refining the technology, with objectives including miniaturization, durability enhancement, and improved wireless connectivity with mobile devices. Beyond its potential to facilitate communication for stroke survivors, the device holds promise for diverse applications in health monitoring, sports, and entertainment spaces, including integration into video games.

To find out more about this research, read the article from Mediarun Search about the new innovation for survivors of stroke.