Hand training

The first device in the series is the hand training device designed to improve the hand movement performance. Depending on the device handle position, flexion-extension or rotation movements are practiced. During the training session the patient’s forearm is fixed on a special elbow-holder which can be adjusted as for the height.

The resistance controller sets the necessary load, with low resistance during the initial training sessions and further increase in the resistance level.

Two games have been designed to accompany the hand training device function. They are ‘The Bee’ and “Cossacks’. ‘The Bee’ game is aimed at hand rotation movement training. This game tells the adventures story of the bee that is collecting honey from flowers at a green meadow. The child controls the bee’s movements at the game field by his/her hand movements. When the bee touches myrtle or a daisy, a drop of honey is added to its pail.

After collecting the full pot of honey the bee proceeds to the next game level. Depending on the game level the bee is to escape toadstools, a bumblebee, or hide from the rain.

To train the flexion-extension hand movements the ‘Cossacks’ game has been designed. While performing the flexion movement of the hand and, thus, operating the game-ship, the game player is to fight the enemy fleet traveling over rocky islands. At the next level the game player is to defeat his/her enemies while racing on the horseback.Screenshot of ‘Cossacks’ game aimed at practicing flexion-extension movements

Since every child has her/his motor potential and restrictions, it is necessary to set the game parameters at the starting practice session, i. e., indicate the movement range at which the patient can perform movements. Later the information about the initial game parameters and data about each game session results are saved in the database, and can be used to analyze the practice progress in the future.

To estimate the efficiency of computer game-based devices the International Rehabilitation Clinic staff has conducted preliminary pilot study in the group of 30 children with spastic hemiplegia. The research findings show that the use of hand training device leads to improvement in grasping motor function, increase in active movement range, and development of hand strength.