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High tech rehab device utilises sensors to monitor patient progress

Credit: Flinders University

A new high tech rehabilitation device being supported by the Flinders University intelligence will aid aching muscles and sporting injuries in getting quicker recovery.

According to a recent press release, the Prohab Connected Healthcare System was designed and developed in collaboration with Flinders University teams at Tonsley.

The Prohab device won the major Premier’s Award in the South Australian-NT Design Institute of Australia annual presentations last year.

Flinders University Associate Professor in Product Design Sandy Walker, from the College of Science and Engineering team at Tonsley, shared that his engagement in the new South Australian-made product commenced almost two years ago.

He has been instrumental in developing the overall user-centred design concept for the data capture device.

It integrated hardware, electronics and software, including the “design for manufacture” integration of all major functional elements into a single precision machined titanium sensor.

The IP has been patented.

The Associate Professor is now helping Prohab with the design and development of a range of accessories that will extend the therapeutic benefits of this unique rehabilitation system.

The device allows physios and other rehabilitation experts to monitor the muscle exertion of a sportsperson or a patient in real time.

The device connects to existing equipment of resistance bands, which are widely used in gyms and exercise sessions, to precisely measure the force applied to the band.

The device then sends the exercise data to a smartphone so the athlete or patient visually knows exactly what to do. The data is tracked over time to gradually progress patients effectively and safely.

The device aims to motivate patients recovering from injury, or surgery, by keeping track of real time progress.

Arming patients with visual feedback in real time helps improve compliance with rehabilitation exercises.

This can have a big impact on the health and quality of life for many people following surgery or injury.

In addition, the device will help medical professionals make better and more tailored treatment recommendations to patients.

The second-generation prototype, featuring highly intelligent sensors, promises to capture intelligence gathered during the exercise or recovery session even more accurately.

With assistance from the South Australian State Government, the original proof of concept of the device was delivered by experts at the Medical Device Research Institute at Flinders University.

The product is an exciting opportunity for both elite sportspeople, and other sporting enthusiasts, to stay at the top of their game with more informed recovery options.

It is not only about sporting performance but also about better quality of life for people who might have sport and other related injuries.

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