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Robotic help for stroke victims


Every year over 130,000 people in England and Wales suffer a stroke and up to 85% of them are left with weakness in their arms, making day-to-day tasks difficult. New robotic technology being developed at Leeds will help patients recover more quickly and regain their independence.

The intelligent pneumatic robotic system supports the arm, senses the patient’s efforts and guides them through a series of arm exercises. The system should help the NHS make the most of stretched resources and will be used to supplement treatment from physical therapists.

Lead researcher and consultant in rehabilitation medicine, Dr Bipin Bhakta said: “We are delighted with the award; it represents an exciting boost to the development of restorative rehabilitation technologies for people with disabilities. The award will pay for a physiotherapist and an engineer to undertake collaborative research over three years to develop this technology.”

The research by the universities of Leeds and Manchester and NHS trusts of Leeds and Aberdeen has been funded by a £234,000 grant from the Department of Health’s new and emerging applications of technologies programme.

Hannah Love | alfa
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