Yao Xu, Zhun Qin, Jianghong Fu, Xinyu Sun
The rehabilitation therapies of hand function for persons with stroke are mainly passive methods. Persons undergoing these therapies tend to passively receive the practice from mechanical devices or therapists, which decreases the clinical outcome.
The brain-computer-interface (BCI) based methods have been proven worldwide to be outstanding as BCI techniques gather the actively-motivated information from users themselves and control the movement of hands, thus rebuilding the neural circuit in a close loop. If persons with stroke take BCI treatment together with physical methods, a better clinical improvement can be achieved.
The eConHand is a wearable active BCI-based hand function rehabilitation system. It consists of three parts: a specially designed EEG cap, a control box and a wearable exoskeleton hand for movement. The EEG cap collecting the bioelectric signal and the control box decodes the signal. If there is a movement intention the box will send the move command to the exoskeleton hand, thus building the coupling relation between hands and brains.
We are keeping updating the integrated eConHand system and conducting the clinical test with the cooperation of Dept. of Rehabilitation Medicine in the hospital. The validity of active BCI-based therapy has been proven in the previous related research. This system takes about 3 minutes to prepare and is easy to use. The wearable exoskeleton hand caters to the ergonomics design. Also, the whole system takes up less space, which is suitable for hospital environment.